Ryan Thompsen was riding his bike home from work last Thursday in San Jose, California when a driver had illegally blocked the bike lane.
Thompsen stopped his bike to confront the man about it and the driver went off on a homophobic want. The whole thing was caught on tape.
Thompsen can be heard in the recording from his helmet cam repeatedly saying,
“That’s the bike lane. That’s the bike lane…”
The driver responds,
“Hey, no shit.”
When Thompsen tells him to move out of the bike lane, the driver directs him to go a different way and says,
“Fuck you. You’re a fag. You’re a fag.”
“What does that have to do with it?”
The driver says.
“All Aryans are fags, motherfucker! Am I wrong?”
Local CBS news station identified the driver as Cornelius Lopes, who confirmed to the station that it is, indeed, him in the video hurling homophobic slurs at Thompsen.
Lopes is a former city council candidate from Newark, California who is said to be running for mayor next year. He told reporters he was just
“exercising his right to free speech” and “violated no laws” when he called Thompsen a “fag”
But this isn’t Lopes’ first run-in with a cyclist. The Mercury News reports:
According to court documents, Lopes was also involved in an incident involving a bicyclist in 2004, when he allegedly extended his arm, striking a moving cyclist in the chest during a road race, and responded to a bystander who warned him not to go into the roadway during the race,
“Fuck you, Jew.”
Lopes was later arrested and charged with “misdemeanor battery” for intentionally causing the collision with the cyclist, but according to the court documents “was never convicted.” He then sued the city of Newark, the Newark Police Department, the Newark police union and members of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for wrongfully arresting him. The lawsuit was dismissed.
(Photo, screen grab; via Queerty)