Brave cyclist tries to fend off armed attacker

Port Elizabeth orthodontist Dirk
Hoskin, 65, was attacked while riding alone along the Baakens Valley in the Walmer Downs area. Picture: Supplied.

Yet another Port Elizabeth cyclist was attacked yesterday while riding alone along the Baakens Valley in the Walmer Downs area.

Port Elizabeth orthodontist Drik Hoskin, 65, was out for a ride at about lunchtime when a man attacked him with a screwdriver.

“I was riding my bicycle near the Aurora Centre when I saw a movement in the bushes and saw a man with a screwdriver . . . it was about 30cm long,” Hoskin said.

“I tried to swerve but he tried to grab the bike and I fell. Fortunately the bicycle was between us so he couldn’t get to me. He was just shouting ‘cellphone, cellphone’.”

Hoskin said he had managed to get his hands on the pepper spray he carried with him and sprayed his attacker.

“I tried to keep the bike between us so he couldn’t get to me. I sprayed the whole bottle.”

Nevertheless, Hoskin said, the man had managed to grab the bicycle, kicking Hoskin in the face and leaving him with a cut and swollen eye, before riding off.

Hoskin considered chasing the man, but quickly changed his mind.

“I am 65 and he looked to be between 25 and 30. I wasn’t going to try hand-to-hand combat,” he said.

Hoskin said he had never been concerned about cycling in the area as many people frequented it, jogging or walking their dogs.

“It’s a wide-open space with no bushes, so we’ve never been worried,” he said.

Hoskin said that he had initially believed the attack was opportunistic but his wife convinced him otherwise. “She said: ‘ but it wasn’t opportunistic. He had the screwdriver and he had it out’,” he said.

Besides the swollen eye and being a little shaken up by the ordeal, Hoskin said he was fine.

“I got a fright but I am okay. I’ll be at work on Monday. I realised my life is not worth a bike and a cellphone.”

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said a case of robbery was under investigation after Hoskin reported the incident to the Walmer police station.

“Police officers went back to the scene and searched the bushes in the area, but to no avail,” Naidu said.

The incident follows a spate of cyclists being attacked in recent weeks along Victoria Drive.

In March top Ironman competitor Frederik van Lierde, from Belgium, and Port Elizabeth cyclist Leon Killian were assaulted.

Last month Ironman veteran from the Czech Republic Miroslav Vrastil suffered a fractured cheekbone and damaged eye socket when at least 10 men attacked him.

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