Mendota Heights man accused of dragging bicyclist alongside car

A Mendota Heights man is facing charges after, while driving, he allegedly grabbed a bicyclist, dragging him and his bike on the pavement alongside his car.

Alvin Lee Johnson, 64, was recently charged with felony first-degree criminal damage to property, and fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in the altercation that left the 51-year-old Minneapolis man with road rash and other injuries, as well as $1,000 in damages to the bike, according to the criminal complaint filed Aug. 29 in Dakota County District Court.

Mendota Heights officers spoke to several witnesses and the bicyclist regarding the report of an assault on a bicyclist July 19 in Mendota Heights. In their investigation, officers said they discovered Johnson was driving past three bicyclists, when the bicyclist in question "displayed his middle finger," as he drove past, the complaint said. Then, Johnson allegedly pulled over. 

As he passed the car, the male bicyclist "reminded" Johnson that drivers must give bicyclists three feet of space and "lightly slapped" Johnson on the left arm, according to the complaint.

Johnson reportedly grabbed the bicyclist, whose shoes were clipped into his bike, so that the man and his bike were dragged together "at a high rate of speed" against the pavement. Johnson allegedly drove 30-40 feet, "squealing his tires in the process."

Later, investigators were able to find Johnson, who apparently admitted to grabbing onto the biker and driving away.

State statute says motorists passing a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a road "shall leave a safe distance, but in no case less than three feet clearance, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain clearance until safely past."

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7815 and kroby@lillienews.com. Follow her at twitter.com/KRobyNews.

 
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