A dirt biker badly hurt after he was struck on a footpath by a motorist says it was the first time he’d joined any joyrides and had been invited by a friend.
The rider, in his early 20s, told the Herald he needed surgery after the woman allegedly ploughed into him while he sat on his bike on Mt Wellington Highway on Anzac Day.
“I was pretty much thinking when she drove up on the footpath, ‘This is it. [It’s] over for me’.
“[She] ran straight into me, I was under the car as it mounted and drove down the footpath, the car eventually running straight over my leg.”
The motorist said she was fearing for her life, panicking and trying to escape the riders when she drove up and hit two of them.
A close friend of her’s told the Herald she was scared because a biker had broken her wing mirror and more began to swarm her car.
“She saw a gap in traffic and tried to escape, that’s how she ended up on the footpath,” he said.
Police said she “struck one of the dirt bike riders, causing him to fall off his bike”.
The friend defended her action and revealed how the bikers violently reacted to their mates getting hit, turning on the motorist and her vehicle.
A group of riders used their helmets and road signs to smash the windscreen and rear window, slashed her tyres and badly beat the woman.
Police called the assault “an appalling display of behaviour”, and said the riders fled the scene after the minutes-long horror.
“What happened after [I was run over] I cannot factually say,” the rider told the Herald.
“I have been told the bike riders only chased the woman because she ran myself and another rider over.
“[It] was a very scary experience seeing a car coming straight at you going 20km to 40km.”
The rider’s aunt told the Herald, “he did not fall off his bike [as police said]”.
The rider said he was flung out from under the car after it ran over his leg.
He said two bones in his leg were broken and he would be off work for two months while he recovered.
He went into surgery last Wednesday and was let out on Friday.
After hitting the riders, the woman continued driving along the footpath before she crashed into a fence and a pole and then stopped at a traffic light.
“Those low-lives then chased, swarmed [and began] smashing and attacking the car,” the woman’s friend told the Herald.
“The windshield was smashed, the back window was shattered, the car was kicked in all over. They used their helmets, road signs etc. Knives were also used to slash all four tyres,” the man claimed.
“But even worse, during this ordeal one of those scumbags opened the driver’s door & kicked her in the head & face at least five times. What a tough guy beating on a young lady all alone in the car,” he said.
The rider’s aunt, however, defended her nephew.
“The woman should not have gone down the footpath, particularly in a residential address where children may be walking with their families.
“[But] in no way, shape or form do I condone what the bike riders did,” she said.
She said they were a law-abiding family.
“I have never been involved with police up until that day. I [have] full-time work in a job that I love.
“A friend phoned me Anzac morning to see if I wanted to go out with them for a ride. I had not made plans ... so decided to go,” he said.
Police earlier called the group of dirt bike riders extremely selfish and having little regard for safety as they tore around Auckland’s streets on Anzac Day.
Inspector Rakana Cook, relieving area commander for Counties Manukau East, said the problem wasn’t new and police couldn’t solve it alone.
He called on the parents and family of the dirt bikers to take responsibility.
He said police have tried to hold these riders to account, “but the message does not seem to be getting through”.
Police have been investigating reports about the hundreds of bikers who disrupted traffic and intimidated motorists in Mt Wellington, Otara, and in east Auckland’s Pakuranga last Tuesday.
A group of riders also started kicking a parked police car which was responding to callouts to the “unacceptable” behaviour, as officers inside watched them and took notes to follow up on, Cook said.