Prosecutors: Driver intentionally drove into bicyclist during Uptown road rage clash

A Chicago man intentionally drove into a bicyclist during a road rage dispute in Uptown on Wednesday, prosecutors said. The victim is reportedly doing okay.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Burkhardt said the victim was riding in the bike lane on the 1000 block of West Wilson when he came upon several cars at a stoplight. As he slowed down to pass the cars, a red Ford sedan drove into the bike lane and nearly struck him, Burkhardt said.

The bicyclist threw his hands up, asked the driver what he was doing, and then continued riding westbound while trying to stay closer to the parking lane on his right since he nearly got hit by the car.

Suddenly, the red Ford came speeding up in the bike lane behind the cyclist, striking the back end of his bike with enough force to “crush” it, according to Burkhardt. The bicyclist fell to the ground, then got up in time to get a clear look at the driver’s face before the Ford maneuvered around him and continued west on Wilson, Burkhardt said. A CPD surveillance camera recorded the entire incident.

Lenard Cribbs | CPD

Two witnesses in another car called 911 and followed the Ford until police caught up with them and pulled the vehicle over. Officers allegedly noticed body damage on the Ford’s front grill. The victim identified the driver, Lenard Cribbs, as the man who ran into him.

The victim was taken to Swedish Hospital with a mild concussion and injuries to his right elbow and lower back, Burkhardt told Judge Charles Beach.

Cribbs’ attorney said he is 20-years-old with two kids.

Prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Less than a month ago, on March 19, Cribbs was released on a recognizance bond after prosecutors charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Police said he admitted that a gun they found in a backpack during a traffic stop the night before belonged to him. During last month’s bond hearing, his defense attorney said Cribbs had no criminal background.

Judge Beach on Thursday ordered Cribbs held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the gun case. Beach set bail in the bike incident at $30,000. Cribbs will need to post a $3,000 deposit to get out of jail and then go onto electronic monitoring, Beach said.

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