Talk about a bumpy ride.
A Lyft driver says he did his best to fight off a crazed bicyclist who smashed his windows, bashed him in the head with a bike lock and jumped on top of his car to crow like a madman in a crazed confrontation caught on video.
“The guy came out of nowhere and began screaming at me,” Daniel Diaz, 23, said in Spanish in an exclusive interview. “I didn’t pay him any attention because it’s normal to see people like that in New York.”
That changed when the bicyclist smashed his car windows as the confrontation sparked off at E. 40th St. and Fifth Ave. about 1:20 p.m. Friday.PAID POSTWhat Is This?
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Diaz says the attack was unprovoked though investigators believe he may have cut the bicyclist off in traffic, sparking his rage.
Diaz, who was driving two Lyft passengers when the assault occurred, said the bicyclist blocked his path at the start of their face-off.
“I got out of the car to see what was happening,” Diaz said. “He became aggressive in front of me. I had to defend myself.”
When the bicyclist smashed the car’s windows and jumped on top of the car to shout at the heavens, raising his arms in victory, Diaz’s two terrified passengers fled in terror.
Diaz said he tried to grab his attacker, who responded by striking him in the head with a bike lock on a chain.
Police said the suspect hopped back on his black-and-green bicycle and rode off west on E. 40th St. Cops on Wednesday released video taken by another driver of the bicyclist gloating on top of the car and asked for the public’s help identifying him
“We put out a very good image of him,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Thursday. “I am very confident that we will get an arrest on this case.”
Diaz was treated for injuries including a cut to his back at a nearby hospital.
On Tuesday, he moved to Puerto Rico to be with his wife and 3-year-old son. The relocation was unrelated to the assault, he said.
A Lyft spokesman said the company is working with law enforcement in their investigation.
“The safety of the Lyft community is our number one priority and this incident is incredibly frightening and deeply concerning,” said Lyft spokesman Campbell Matthews.
With Esha Ray and Thomas Tracy