What started as two usual commutes resulted in spitting, yelling and police investigating Monday.
Wayne Pein was biking toward Rosemary Street in the center of the right lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when a truck passed him via the turn-only right lane.
In North Carolina, bicyclists are entitled to use the full lane.
When the light turned green, Pein, who has been cycling as his main mode of Chapel Hill transportation since 1986, got in the left turn lane to turn onto Cameron Avenue. Kevin Mitchell, the driver of the truck, followed, and Pein spit in the direction of the truck.
“I was about a lane away, and I’m wearing braces,” he said. “I can’t spit, I was far away, and I spit at the ground anyway.”
It’s unclear who started the altercation — but a few minutes later, he and Mitchell were yelling at each other on the side of the road.
“The … investigation revealed that the driver of the truck allegedly got out of his truck and kicked the individual’s bike, or possibly the cyclist, as he was riding away,” Chapel Hill Police Department spokesman Lt. Kevin Gunter wrote in an email.
After Mitchell kicked the bicycle, Pein took off his helmet and said, “Let’s go.” Mitchell got in his truck and left.
“We were unable to locate the cyclist in the area but were successful in identifying the driver of the vehicle,” Gunter said.