Road rage accused claims cyclist ‘attacked’ family
A FATHER became tearful as he claimed the cyclist he is accused of running off the road and bashing first "attacked" his family and threatened his daughter's life.
Matthew Scott Rowen, 39, told a Maroochydore District Court jury that cyclist Gary McLennan pounded his moving car, and pulled the back-passenger door next to his seven-year-old daughter so hard the handle ripped off.
Mr Rowen has pleaded not guilty to dangerously operating his vehicle by deliberately steering at Mr McLennan, and to unlawfully punching him in the face at least twice while he lied on the side of the road.
Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings alleged the violent outburst came after Mr McLennan slapped Mr Rowen's vehicle once after an alleged near miss with himself and four other cyclists who were riding in the bike lane on Cooroy-Noosa Rd.
Mr Rowen told jurors on the morning of the incident, August 28, 2016, he was towing his six-metre boat and driving his partner, son and daughter to the Tewantin boat ramp.
Mr Rowen claimed he saw a man believed to be Mr McLennan weave in and out of the bike lane leading up to the roundabout intersecting Poinciana Ave and Butler St.
He claimed he waited to safely pass the group before he entered the roundabout.
Mr Rowen became tearful as he told jurors he then heard several loud bangs, heard his daughter scream then turned to see the door beside her "swinging in the breeze".
He said when he slammed on the brakes and exited to close her door, he and Mr McLennan argued and pushed each other, but he denied punching him.
Mr Rowen claimed to have taken photos of the alleged damage to his vehicle for insurance purposes, but could not provide photos.
The court was shown a receipt for a replacement door handle Mr Rowen bought on October 10, 2016.
Mr Cummings told the jurors that to return a guilty verdict, they must first be satisfied Mr Rowen deliberately steered his vehicle towards Mr McLennan and struck him, and that he unlawfully assaulted him causing bodily harm.
Mr Cummings and defence barrister Jack Kennedy have closed their evidence, and Judge Glen Cash will direct jurors before they retire to deliberate a verdict.