Cyclist On Cross Country Journey Punched In Face By Sapulpa Driver
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - A cross-country cyclist is left with several stitches after being assaulted by a driver on the side of a road in Sapulpa.
Jeffrey Tanenhaus had logged 1,800 miles over two months and had just tweeted that Tulsa was his favorite city, but the incident left him in shock.
Tanenhaus said he was on his way out of town, continuing his journey, with his next stop scheduled for Oklahoma City.
He had stopped to rest on the side of that road in Sapulpa when the driver of a pickup truck stopped and started yelling at him.
Tanenhaus said people stop him regularly, out of curiosity. After all, he is on a Citi Bike - with a license plate reading New York.
“I was expecting to answer a friendly question,” he said.
Instead, he said, the driver of a pickup truck pulled over on a side road in Sapulpa and began yelling about his hatred of cyclists.
"How we think we own the road and we shouldn’t be on the road and I need to get off the road," he said.
And then, Tanenhaus said he received a punch to the face that left him needing several stitches. The driver took off.
“Fortunately, a couple in a pickup truck was coming across the scene as I was stumbling over and just bleeding out of my mouth," he said.
Not an ideal ending to the time he spent in Tulsa, getting to know the city and its cycling community - a place, just hours earlier, he tweeted was his favorite so far.
Tanenhaus said, “I still think Oklahoma is a great place, so I'm not going to let this taint my feelings for Tulsa or Oklahoma.”
But fellow area cyclists like Josh Gifford, hope this brings awareness to what they call a growing problem.
“And here this person had the where-with-all to run him off the road for what reason? They're just a human riding their bike. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me," Gifford said.
And, while this incident will probably be the most talked about on his trip, Tanenhaus said it’s not the one he’ll remember most.
“The ones that I'll remember the most are the kind of moments with people across the country, and I'm grateful for that, but it can be dangerous out on the roads," he said.
Even though he wasn’t able to get a plate number off the truck, Tanenhaus did file a police report.
He still plans to continue his journey, because, if he were to stay off his bike, he said the person who assaulted him would've won.