James Ernst, driver in bike-rage harassment video, pleads not guilty to all charges
On a Sunday morning in September, two cyclists on an open road in Longmont filmed their bizarre encounter with James Ernst, 75, who drove an SUV and honked nonstop without passing them. Despite the video, which has now more than 450,000 hits on YouTube, Ernst has pleaded not guilty to three different charges of aggressive driving.
Here's that video by Dirk Friel, a cyclist from Boulder who filmed Ernst's strange behavior and posted it under the title, "Insane Driver who obviously doesn't like people on bikes."
As we've reported, Friel, 42, was cycling with a friend on East County Line Road in Longmont on September 16 when Ernst allegedly began harassing them. In the video, it's apparent that the SUV has room to pass and the cyclists are staying far to the right, giving him plenty of space to do so.
Friel, who lives in Boulder and is the founder of Trainingpeaks.com, a Colorado company that works with athletes, is riding single file in front of his friend and expresses his disbelief at the situation during the two-minute video -- but he says the bike-rage went on for longer.
Both the cyclists tried to wave Ernst past. They say that after about five minutes, he finally drove by.
The pair went on with their Sunday ride and didn't alert law enforcement officials immediately, though Friel did post the video on YouTube and Twitter. Once the clip began to go viral, he decided to contact the Colorado State Patrol, which led to the charges against Ernst.
In total, Ernst faced three charges related to aggressive driving. One was a misdemeanor harassment charge for following the cyclists, while the other two were for traffic infraction: driving too slowly and inappropriate honking.
On Friday, Ernst pleaded not guilty to all three charges, a Colorado Judicial Department spokesman says.
Continue to read more about James Ernst's plea in the bike-rage incident.