Man accused of running down bicyclists, threatening to kill them all

A Spalding County man is accused of lying in wait for a south metro cycling group to ride past his home and intentionally running into the cyclists.

David Harper, 66, was charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, aggressive driving, reckless conduct and terrorist threats. 

A photo shared with FOX 5 shows a photo of Harper yelling members of the Southern Crescent Cycling. Another photo shows one of the cyclists face down on the roadway after being hit.

Members of the group say they ride the same route every Tuesday night around the same time, so it would be easy for anyone to track them.

Woody Morgan was there that day. He says Harper and his grandson were waiting for them on that August day along Jordan Hill Road, which is near the Henry-Spalding counties line.

"It was very violent. And it’s somebody who thinks they absolutely own that road, as he told us," said Morgan.

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The cyclists say after striking the woman, Harper threatened to kill them all.

Attorney Bruce Hagen of Bike Law, a network of independent bicycle accident attorneys and law firms, says they are preparing a civil suit against Harper.

"More so, we want to make sure that the community at large knows and understands that cyclists have the legal right to be out on the road. These are human beings. The people who were involved here, these were moms and dads, and nurses, and teachers, and coaches, and mechanics, and just regular people in the community, who all the want to do is have an opportunity to be out, enjoy the road, and get back home to their families," said Hagen. 

Those are sentiments echoed by Allison Goodman, a cyclist and mother of three from Locust Grove.

"I always say a prayer before a ride. First, for safety, because these three kiddos are on the forefront of my mind every single time," said Goodman.

What is the law about passing a bicyclist in Georgia?

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety says when a motorist passes a bicyclist, a driver must move over into the adjacent lane, if it is safe and legal to do so.

Previously, the law stated that three feet of room must be placed between the vehicle and the bicyclist.

The current law goes on to state that if more room cannot be given to a cyclist, the driver must slow down to 10 mph under the posted speed limit or 25 mph, whichever is higher.

The new law has been on the books since July 1, 2021.