Michael Bowman was riding his bicycle on the Guilford Bike Boulevard in Station North on Saturday when he was attacked by a group of teenagers. He happened to be recording video at the time, and he uploaded footage of the incident — which cuts out as the kids appear to gang up on him and begin attacking him in earnest — to YouTube.
In the video description he said the attack left him with “damage” to his thumb after the youths “stomped it.” He said he “took punches” but didn’t end up with any marks. After the camera cut out Bowman yelled for help, which brought residents onto the street, and “a distant siren scared [the attackers] off.”
This incident is eerily similar to a spate of attacks that occurred on Guilford Avenue last April. In one instance, the intended victim was able to pedal away from his attackers. In another, the cyclist sustained “a few scrapes and a black eye” before residents came to his aid and the attackers fled.
Racist Internet commenters swarmed Bowman’s YouTube posting, and City Paper’s coverage of this event inspired heated comment threads about white privilege and concealed carry laws. For their part, local bike advocacy group Bikemore released a level-headed statement that of course decried the attack, but acknowledged that “these incidents do not represent the actions of all Baltimore City youth” and recommended “a constructive dialogue about increased after-school and evening opportunities for youth in our city.”
Police are “combing through” Bowman’s helmet-cam video to investigate the incident.
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