Maryland-National Capital Park police are seeking public help in identifying a suspect in connection with the attack that occurred Monday afternoon on the Main Crescent Trail in Montgomery County, park police said.
A man and two women were walking down the trail, posting leaflets in support of the Black Lives Matter, when the suspect began arguing with them over leaflets and grabbed leaflets for one of the victims, the statement said.
Police allege that the suspect then pushed his bicycle and started accusing one of the victims, as a result of which he fell to the ground.
Park Police released pictures of the suspect, seeking help in finding the man, who is described as a white man aged 50 to 60, of medium build, 6 feet tall, with short brown hair.
Police officers patrol the trail on foot, bicycle and police car, the statement said.
A man who filmed a video of a cyclist confronting him and his friends as he posted signs told CNN they were trying to influence change.
The man asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation and said he was out with two friends posting leaflets when the cyclist approached them. The man claims the cyclist walked past them and then turned and approached them.
“At first he seemed intrigued by our message, but he quickly became aggressive and ripped the sheets from my hands,” he said. Then he took out his phone and started recording.
CNN cannot independently verify what happened before and after the video.
What the video shows
The video shows the cyclist approaching another member of the group, who tells him to stay away. The cyclist then turns to the third member of the group and tears the skirt of the ribbon he had around his wrist.
The man behind the camera says he then noticed the cyclist filming and grabbed the bike and charged him.
In the video, he then falls to the ground. He says the cyclist demanded the strap he had in his hands. Recording ends when the man picks up the phone. He says the cyclist then went down the trail a bit, before turning around and shouting rudely at the group before heading back the way he had come.
Since the incident, the man who recorded the video says he went back outside and posted more signs and made people ask him to post.
“I spent my high school years in DC and I had the good fortune to live in a affluent neighborhood, where I feel I have a lot of privileges,” he said.
“There are a lot of people watching TV and saying ‘wow that’s awful’ and shaking their heads, but they’re not really working to change that. That’s what I want to try and encourage is for people to actually start changing things, not just being an observer.”