6:52AM Friday Oct 30, 2009
Labour MP Trevor Mallard has defended his role in a skirmish with a motorist who allegedly upset a group of cyclists the minister was part of.
Mr Mallard was cycling to Parliament on Wednesday morning when the incident happened and police have since become involved, The Dominion Post reported.
He said those in the vehicle copped some abuse from the cyclists when it allegedly drove dangerously through the group before stopping.
A man got out and swung a bag at him, Mr Mallard said.
“I very nearly fell off my bike from this guy jumping out and swinging his bag at me. I got my foot out of the [bike] pedal because I thought I was going to fall off and there was contact between my foot and his bag.”
Police confirmed the occupants of the car had made a complaint against the minister but would not give further details or say whether charges would be laid.
Mr Mallard said he had only defended himself during the incident and had not hit anyone.
There was some more verbal abuse exchanged between the parties before he rode off.
Mr Mallard said he considered lodging a complaint himself, but decided against it, and was not willing to comment on the matter in too much detail as it could end up becoming a criminal matter.
He said he had been offered support from another cyclist in the group if he “wanted to take it further”.