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Portland cyclist says he was punched by Uber driver, suffers concussion

KATU photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Southeast Portland cyclist suffered a concussion after he was repeatedly punched by a driver near Sunnyside School.

Paul Jeffery says a speeding car dangerously passed him while he was biking to work near the intersection of Southeast 34th and Salmon Street.

He says he yelled at the driver to slow down.

"The car stops. I ride up to the car figuring I could, you know, tell him why, how dangerous that is, and why they shouldn't do that," Jeffery told KATU. "The next thing I knew, the guy is opening his driver side door, coming around the car, and he just came right at me, pushed me up against a parked car and started slugging me in the head."

Not just once. Jeffery says he was punched four or five times in the face.

A picture taken moments after shows Jeffery's face bloodied.

"I don't wish him harm, I wish he would understand what it's like to value human life," he said. "He devalued human life in two separate ways inside of a minute."

Jeffery says several witnesses spooked the driver, described as a white man in his 30s.

"You don't hit people. This is modern society," he said.

Jeffery was able to get a good description of the car and a partial plate.

Police say it's described as a black, late-model Mazda 3 with Oregon plate 1-6-1, followed by three letters, possibly with a "J."

Jeffery says he saw an Uber sticker in one of the windows.

He says he called police and Uber.

The rideshare company told Jeffery they were working to identify the driver, but said there was likely little they could do if he was not working at the time.

Jeffery says he wants to press charges. Doctors told him he couldn't go to work for several days.

"The [greenway] streets are the ones that should be low-speed for cars and for people and kids to ride safely," Jeffery said. "It's just not right."

KATU also contacted Uber, but didn't hear back.

If you have any information about this incident, you're asked to call Portland police's non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

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