PORT TOWNSEND — More than 70 bicyclists traveled through Port Townsend to show support for a fellow bicyclist who had been forced off the road and later was called a racial slur.
The demonstration took place Saturday. The incident that sparked the demonstration occurred on May 29, according to Troy Surber, Port Townsend interim police chief.
The initial incident happened between the 900 and 1000 blocks of Water Street in Port Townsend, Surber said. The driver of a red pickup truck was reported to be driving erratically and nearly hit the bicyclist, who fell and scraped his hands and knees, Surber said.
The bicyclist later confronted the driver near Quincy and Washington streets. The driver was unaware of the near collision, Surber said; during the exchange, he called the bicyclist a racial slur.
While the slur was used in the subsequent confrontation, Surber said the initial near-collision was not racially motivated and the erratic driving was caused by the driver’s medical problems, he said.
The driver was cited for second-degree negligent driving, and a collision report was filed. The driver is required to retake the driver’s examination through the Department of Licensing, Surber said.
Outside of the scrapes, the biker was fine after his fall. He walked with Surber during last Friday’s “Black Lives Matter” protest from the Port Townsend Police Department and the Port Townsend Safeway, Surber said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected].