A cyclist accused of assaulting a pregnant woman in Vancouver is sharing his side of the story.
In a statement released to media, the man said he was not intentionally trying to hit Mandy Pappas, and deeply regrets the incident. He asked to remain anonymous because he fears for his safety.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Pappas said a cyclist ran a stop sign and almost ran her over. She said after she yelled at him, the cyclist turned around and came directly for her, knocking her over.
She said she had enough time to grab the handlebars, but had to push back as he came at her. She said she fell back down, and the bike fell partly on top of her.
Pappas also posted a photo of the cyclist with her Facebook update.
But the cyclist, who shared an email statement with CTV Vancouver and Vancity Buzz, is painting a different picture of what happened.
"I decelerated but I cannot recall if I came to a full stop. I quickly re-accelerated," he wrote.
"I saw a woman crossing the street on foot in front of me. I was aware of her the whole time and drove by her with a safe distance."
He said he didn't realize Pappas would have had the right of way because he is not a Vancouver local, and is more accustomed to European traffic laws.
"After I was passing she yelled, 'There is a stop sign! Asshole!' at me. I was not aware of any wrongdoing so I turned around to talk to her."
The cyclist said he intended to stop right next to her but as he approached, Pappas grabbed his handlebars, causing them both to fall to the ground.
"When we got up I wanted to talk to her, but she would not listen. When she called her husband I thought it might be better to leave, since she was already very agitated and I did not want to have a possible fight with him," he wrote.
He said he now realizes Pappas may have thought he was intentionally trying to hit her, since his flashing light might have blinded her.
"This was not my intention. I deeply regret the accident."
The cyclist provided a statement to Vancouver police after the incident, which is still under investigation.
Pappas, who is five months pregnant, went to the hospital, where doctors said the baby was doing fine. She said on Facebook, however, that she was badly bruised after the incident.
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