Deputy Shot While Riding Bike Off-Duty, Bicyclists React
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) —
Mike Smith has been riding his bike on the stretch of road near Willow and Friant for a while.
"Been riding along here for probably 25 years," Smith said.
He says aggressive drivers are common.
"Probably the worst thing I've had thrown at me is somebody tossed a full bottle of water at me," Smith said.
Nathan Oreizi has experienced them too.
"A few cases where people throw glass or just objects," Oreizi said.
But it reached a whole new level Tuesday, when an off-duty sheriff's deputy was shot while riding his bike in the same area.
"I was surprised. I didn't think they were that ruthless, but I guess that's just the way people are," Oreizi said.
Bicyclists say, though the threat of being shot at is pretty extreme, they do know they run the risk of becoming a target.
But they say that won't stop them from going for a ride.
"This sort of thing can happen anywhere any time for any reason. If we lock ourselves in our houses, which is basically what you have to do, if you really want to be totally safe, then those people win and you can't do that," Smith said.
"You hear about something like this and it just makes you want to go out there even more. Hopefully one day they'll learn to respect us. Because if you stop, they'll never respect us," Oreizi said.
The bicyclists we spoke with did say, although they've seen aggression from some drivers, most drivers on the road are courteous towards bicycle riders.