Police in London have arrested a man on condition of causing grievous bodily harm by shoving a woman into oncoming traffic. The arrest comes after police released on Tuesday CCTV footage of the attack, which occurred back in May on Putney Bridge in southwest London, prompting public outrage and a manhunt.
The video shows a man jogging in the middle of the bridge’s wide sidewalk and veering towards a female pedestrian then shoving her--a hefty, two-handed push--into the road. An oncoming bus swerves to avoid hitting the woman as she falls backwards into its path.
The Metropolitan Police have said the bus stopped and passengers got out to help the victim, who is 33 and has not been named. Witnesses described the jogger as a white man in his mid 30s, with brown eyes and short hair. The video shows him jogging past one other person, a man who was strolling on a raised partition of the sidewalk, before barging into the woman.
Fifteen minutes after the incident, which occurred around 7:40 AM, the woman saw her aggressor jogging back over the bridge and tried to engage him, but police said he “did not acknowledge her and carried on jogging.”
In a statement late Wednesday evening, the Metropolitan Police confirmed to the Daily Beast that they had received “a good response from the appeal” since releasing the video and are “following a number of lines of enquiry,” but remain “keen to hear from anyone who has information who has not yet come forward.”
The woman sustained minor injuries, though an investigating officer with the Metropolitan Police told the Evening Standard that she would have been hit by the bus were it not for the driver’s “superb quick reactions.” He added that the incident was “a deliberate act” by the jogger. “His hands come across and push her. At this point she is the only person on the pavement. The footpath is eight to ten feet wide — there is plenty of room.”
Meanwhile, the incident has been vigorously debated in the court of public opinion, with sports psychologists, runners, and many vexed online commenters speculating what on earth compelled the jogger to violently act out.
A psychology professor at Birmingham University appeared on Good Morning Britain to say that he didn’t think there was anything “mentally” wrong with the jogger, who had exhibited “the pedestrian equivalent of road rage.” Apparently, he was simply claiming his territory. “It’s not about his mental state,” the professor went on. “It’s more to do with his personality and his sense of who he is and sense of self worth relative to other people.”
Since releasing the video on Tuesday, police have received a slew of reports across the country of similarly aggressive incidents between runners--though none as life-threatening as the one on Putney Bridge.
The Telegraph ran an article by a runner who said he was “shocked by not surprised” when he saw the video, and that he’d “lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen moments of jogger rage: aggressive runners barking at pedestrians, shaking their fists at drivers (or banging them on car bonnets), or angrily elbowing slower trotters out of the way at a ‘fun run’.”
On Twitter, many scoffed at the “jogger rage” conceit. One woman tweeted a link to the news with the hashtag #probablyprivileged, referring to the shover. Another tweeted that “jogger rage” was a silly excuse for “a white male attempting to assault/murder an innocent woman.”
Some idiots have gone to great lengths to blame the victim, arguing that the woman attempted to trip the jogger, leaving him with no choice but to shove her into the street in self-defense.
One man tweeted at London police that, upon very close inspection, “u can clearly see she is upright & her right foot is connecting to his left leg.” He included a highlighted screen grab that shows both of her feet on the ground, proving only that he may need glasses.
UPDATE: Police in London have arrested a man on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm to a woman by shoving her into oncoming traffic.