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Driver Charged With Harassing Cyclists

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)- The Colorado State Patrol has cited a driver suspected of following a group of bicyclists in his SUV and honking for five minutes without passing.

State troopers cited James Ernst, 75, of Erie for harassment, impeding the flow of traffic and improper use of a horn.

The cyclists say they were harassed Sunday near Longmont along County Line Road north of Highway 52, and they caught it on video.

Cyclist Dirk Friel says the honking from the Ford Explorer went on for five minutes, even after he slowed down to try and get the driver to pass.

(credit: CBS)

"It was just a strange incident. Why would you ride behind us with just your horn on and backing up traffic behind you at the same time?" Friel said.

Friel and his friend were riding right of the white line and in single file. Not knowing what the driver might do, both pulled out cellphones to take video.

The clip called "Insane Driver" is posted on YouTube and that is where a sound off of another kind began.

"Calm down, slow down, is it really worth it?" cyclist Adam Haid said. "Is your day better because you did that? That was ridiculous."

The clip has been watched 73,000 times and counting. Social media connected police to Friel and the investigation began after someone posted on YouTube that they had a run-in with the same driver.

Insane Driver who obviously doesn't like people on bikes by dfriel1 on YouTube

"Now there are multiple reports about the same driver," Friel said. "It's a very beautiful Sunday fall morning and we were out there to enjoy our day. He must have had a stressful one but he doesn't have to take it out on others."

Friel says he plans to take advantage of all the YouTube traffic by raising money from ads. He plans to give the money to Bicycle Colorado, which raises awareness and lobbies for laws that protect cyclists.

LINK: Bicycle Colorado

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