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Shout and scratched car spark Portland biker-car rider brawl

The latest bike fight ends with a citation, an arrest and a head bashed with a bike lock

The Oregonian, Saturday, July 19, 2008

By Maxine Bernstein

A bike courier on his way home from work got into a scuffle Tuesday night with a car passenger who yelled at him for not wearing a helmet.

The North Portland confrontation, the third bizarre road rage conflict in recent weeks, occurred about 6:30 p.m. It ended with police citing the bicyclist on criminal mischief, and arresting the passenger, who works for the downtown Bike Gallery, on a second-degree assault accusation.

According to police and witnesses, Adam Lewis Leckie, 23, was riding his bike north on North Mississippi Avenue when Patrick McNeil Schrepping, 30, shouted: "Wear your helmet!" from a car heading south.

Schrepping told police he was in a car borrowed from a friend. While parking along the street, he said Leckie rode past, scratching the length of the driver's door with a key.

Schrepping and a friend stopped to eat at a nearby restaurant. About 10 minutes later, they spotted Leckie riding by again.

Schrepping told police he stepped into the street to stop the bicyclist. Leckie said Schrepping yelled at him, and they got into a fight. Witnesses saw the men punching each other.

At one point, Leckie's bike lock fell. Schrepping told police Leckie grabbed for it, but he got it first and hit Leckie in the head.

The men were wrestling for the lock when witness Justin Wheeler, 34, stepped in to break up the fight. Soon police arrived.

Leckie suffered about a 1-inch gash in the back of his head. Paramedics suggested he get stitches, but he declined to go to a hospital.

Leckie, who has described himself on an Internet profile as a "bike punk" (which he called outdated), said Friday that he regretted his actions. He said he usually wears a helmet but had taken it off that hot night to cool down.

"I had a bad day and lost my temper," Leckie said. "That was definitely a poor decision."

But he said he didn't damage the car much and didn't deserve what he got.

Schrepping did not return messages seeking comment.