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Cyclist-driver road rage led to hit-run charge, police say


Request to suspect for magistrate's hearing awaited

UPDATED, Oct. 12: An incident of road rage that began near the police department involving a cyclist and a motorist has resulted in charges filed against the driver.

Matthew Pizzano of Arlington was charged with hit-and-run and assault with a dangerous weapon (his car) in an incident that began at 6:14 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at the light at Mystic Valley Parkway and Mystic Street, near the police department.

Capt. Richard Flynn, infornmation officer for Arlington police, wrote Oct. 12 in response to a query from YourArlington: "The operator who was charged in this incident has until the end of this month to request a clerk magistrate hearing.

"That request has not yet been made. If the request is not received by month's end, an arraignment date will be set by the court."

A police report describes what happened:

An Arlington officer responded to Cutter Hill Road, off Summer Street, to investigate. A resident told police he had been involved in a road-rage incident while on a bicycle ride.

He said he was stopped at the red light on the Mystic Valley Parkway at Mystic waiting to continue westbound on Summer when a silver sedan pulled up behind him wanting to turn right onto Mystic. He told police that when he did not move for the vehicle, the operator of a silver sedan began yelling at him.

The cyclist said he yelled back, and both parties began to swear. When the light turned green, the cyclist said he continued across Mystic to Summer and that the silver sedan turned right onto Mystic, heading toward Winchester.

The cyclist headed westbound on Summer and turned right onto Cutter Hill, and just he had passed the "narrow part" of Cutter Hill, he said he was struck on his left side by a motor vehicle.

He said he was able to maintain his balance and not fall from his bicycle. He told police that the vehicle that had struck him was the same one that had been at the parkway and Mystic.

The cyclist said that after the vehicle hit him, it sped up Cutter Hill toward Richfield Road. He provided police with the plate number and description of the driver.

The cyclist showed police his injuries, and he declined medical attention.

Police spoke with witnesses, who provided information supporting the cyclist's account.

Police returned to the station, and the dispatcher found a possible match for the suspect vehicle. Police visited Pizzano at his home.

Pizzano said he had gotten into a verbal argument a man on a bicycle. He said he was trying to take a right onto Mystic, and the cyclist blocked him. Pizzano said "the bicyclist then moved his bike in such a way as to completely block the lane."

He said that, as he was staring at the man on the bike, the cyclist called him a "fag." Pizzano said that when the light changed, he turned right and then cut back across a side street to Summer. The report says Pizzano "was not about to let someone speak to him in that manor" [sic].

Pizzano said he was able to catch the bicyclist and intended to "brush him off," the report says. He said he drove by the bicyclist at a high speed to scare him. He said he didn't think that he had hit the man and drove off.

Police filed a criminal complaint against Pizzano based on Mass. General Laws Ch. 90 Sec. 24 (leaving the scene with personal injury) and Ch. 265 Sec. 15B (assault with a motor vehicle).

This news report was published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Sept. 29 to add: This story was initiated because of a reference on the Facebook group called Menotomy - Musketaquid Cycling. It was updated again Oct. 12.

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