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Driver is arrested when bicyclist dies after traffic scuffle

Chicago Sun-Times, April 28, 1999

By Gary Wisby

In what could be the first road-rage murder in Chicago, a bicyclist was run over and killed after he got involved in a traffic dispute with the driver of a sport-utility vehicle, police said.

The victim, Thomas McBride, 28, of the 800 block of North Damen, was pedaling east at 5300 W. Washington during Monday morning's rush hour when he was cut off by a 1997 Chevy Tahoe, witnesses told police.

The cyclist banged on the side of the Tahoe with his fist as it swung past him. Witnesses said the driver pulled over to let McBride pass, then caught up to him and struck the bike from behind several times.

The last jolt sent McBride to the pavement and the Tahoe ran over him and sped away without stopping, witnesses said. McBride was dead on arrival at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The driver of the truck, Carnell Fitzpatrick, 28, of the 3800 block of West Warren, was charged with first-degree murder and held without bond pending a court appearance today.

Police said Fitzpatrick turned himself in a few hours later after he noticed his front license plate was knocked off, apparently during the accident. Police found the plate under McBride's body.

If road rage is indeed the motive for the killing, it could be a first for Chicago, police spokesman Pat Camden said. It certainly would be the first car-vs.-bicycle murder here, he said.

"We haven't been seeing the California-type road rage," Camden said. "This is a unique and isolated incident."


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