Violent incident disrupts ride to promote bicycle safety
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Chad Taniguchi hopped into his car at Castle Medical Center in Kailua Sunday afternoon after being assaulted at the 23rd annual Haleiwa Metric Century Ride earlier that morning.
He said the ride got off to a good start, but somewhere between Laie and Ka'a'awa, a fight broke out between one of the cyclists and a driver.
"For some reason, they got out of the car and started arguing with and hitting a cyclist," said Taniguchi.
Taniguchi is one of the officials who put on the event. When he spotted the trouble he was acting as a course marshall, following the cyclist along the route in a car.
He says he pulled over and tried to calm the suspect down. But instead, the suspect turned on him, leaving him with scratches on his knee and a swollen ankle.
"Our roads are public right? They should be for everybody to use and when we use the roads we have to use them with mutual respect for the other users," Taniguchi said.
Taniguchi says the ride attracted more than 900 cyclists. It's a route from Haleiwa to Swanzy Beach park in Ka'a'awa and back.
He says it's a fun-filled day for husbands, wives, sons, daughters and friends.
"Everyone… young, old, weak, strong have a right to be safe on Hawaii's roads," he said.
Although it was an unfortunate circumstance, Taniguchi hopes the message is clear: there should be a mutual respect between motorists and cyclists on Hawaii's roads.
Taniguchi says they still plan on having the ride around the same time next year.
Taniguchi is not sure what sparked the assault but believes the suspect may have been under the influence of alcohol or something else.
Kahuku police arrested Chevis Santiago, 23, in connection to this incident. Santiago was charged with two counts of assault.
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