Cyclist punched, told 'this is what you get for riding on the sidewalk'

SEATTLE -- A bicyclist told police he was punched in the neck Saturday afternoon for riding his bike on a Capitol Hill sidewalk.

The cyclist was slowly riding up Denny Way near Summit Avenue when he passed a man on the sidewalk. Police say the man took umbrage at having to share the sidewalk and punched the cyclist in the neck, knocking him off his bike.

The attacker then screamed, "This is what you get for riding on the sidewalk," according to police.

The cyclist wasn't seriously injured. With the attacker still screaming obscenities at him, he rode home and called the police.

Officers searched the area but didn't find the attacker.

Police are now using the crime as a way to alert pedestrians that they have to share the sidewalk.

"Now we'd like to remind all of you that, yes, cyclists (including SPD and King County Sheriff's Office bike patrol officers) are able to lawfully ride on sidewalks, as long as they pedal carefully and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians," police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said in a Tuesday evening blotter post.