BALTIMORE - A Baltimore City man is recovering after several young people attacked him while he was riding his bike Saturday night. The entire incident was caught on camera.
It happened Saturday night along Guilford Avenue a couple blocks south of North Avenue.
There is a slight uphill grade as the street runs North, so Michael Bowman was tired -- not going very fast, when suddenly several young people knocked him off his bike and started beating him.
The attack was captured by the small camera mounted on his bike helmet. He's been recording his rides for about a year -- ever since a friend's bike was cut off by a truck, and Bowman didn't have any evidence of what had happened.
And that's why he has a recording of what happened on his ride to Hampden on Saturday.
“I went through the intersection and remember seeing them coming at me from the front and then from there it just seemed like all at once everything happened,” Bowman said.
They knocked him off the bike and punched him repeatedly. The camera's battery disconnected so the recording stopped at that point.
There was a siren not far away, and neighbors came over to help.
“I got up, called 911, everybody who came out after that was really nice. I owe them a beer if I ever run into them again,” Bowman said.
Fortunately most of the punches wound up striking Bowman's helmet.
“I never felt that all the advice to wear your helmet would come into play to protect me from punches,” he said.
Chris Merriam, the executive director of Bikemore, a cycling advocacy group, says he hopes the attack won't keep people from riding. What makes bikers more safe, he says, is more bikers.
“What we want to do is work with the Greenmount West Community Association, which is already a good partner of ours, and the police department to find a constructive way of dealing with this,” Merriam said.
Michael Bowman rides his bike to work every day. His commute from Fells Point to Federal Hill takes less time on two wheels than it would with four. He says he'll keep it up, but he'll be more careful at night.
As for the kids who attacked him? “I wish they had something to do maybe they could come out and join us,” Bowman said. “If they asked any of the cyclists if they want to come out on a bike ride they'd probably say yeah I'll help you get a bike we'll do this.”
Baltimore City police say they are investigating the incident but they declined to comment for this story.