A cyclist stuck out his knee and knocked a five-year-old girl face-first into the snow. He then filed a defamation lawsuit against the little girl’s father and won. Here’s the whole story.
Christmas Day Walk
In Belgium, a family went out for a walk on a snowy Christmas Day in 2020 when suddenly a cyclist knocked their five-year-old little girl face-first into the snow.
Walk Goes Awry
The dad was videoing his young daughter and her mother walking down a nature trail when an unidentified 63-year-old cyclist came from behind and stuck out his knee, knocking the little girl into the snow.
Cyclist Pedals Away
After knocking the little girl down, the cyclist continues to pedal away without stopping to apologize or check on the little girl.
The family was in disbelief and immediately reported the incident to the police.
Video Goes Viral
The video taken by the little girl’s father, Patrick Mpasa, went viral after posting it on social media.
He wanted to know if people agreed with his decision to report the cyclist to the police.
People who watched the video encouraged Mpasa to take the cyclist to court for “assault” charges.
There was a court hearing in February 2021 where a judge heard the story from both parties.
The cyclist claimed he stuck his knee out to keep his balance and “avoid a fall.” He also claimed he “did not immediately realize” he knocked the little girl over.
The cyclist said that as he got close to the little girl, he felt his “rear wheel sliding.”
That’s when he “balanced [himself] with a movement of [his] knee.” He did admit to knowing he hit the girl but claimed he “did not immediately realize she had been knocked over.”
The judge ordered the cyclist to pay the equivalent of just over $1 in compensation, saying he “did not intend to hurt the child.”
The judge also felt the cyclist had “been criticized enough” on social media.
Mpasa claimed he didn’t post the video “to seek revenge” but to “raise awareness” about the situation and the dangers for pedestrians on nature trails.
Cyclist Felt Threatened
The cyclist was not happy about the court hearing or the viral video portraying him in a negative light, so he filed a defamation lawsuit against the Mpasa family and won.
The cyclist claimed he felt “threatened by the public” and was “scared to leave his house.”
Did He Exceed the Limits of Freedom of Expression?
A lawyer for Mpasa, Jaques Englebert, made a statement in response to the defamation case. Englebert said, “We have the right to express ourselves. We have the right to post a video on the internet. In this case, we must check whether we have exceeded the limits of this freedom of expression.”
The World Has Gone Mad
People on the social media platform X were outraged over the cyclist winning the defamation case.
One person posted, “The world has gone MAD,” saying the cyclist “assaulted” the little girl.
Father and Grandfather
The same person said the cyclist’s behavior was “even more appalling” after learning the 62-year-old was “a father and a grandfather of seven grandchildren.”
Unbelievable! He Is Not the Victim
Another person said it was “unbelievable that any judge in his right mind would turn this man into a victim.”
A reply to this comment said the courts have “higher priorities to deal with.”
Gutless and Weak
One comment called the cyclist “gutless and weak.” He said he was “tired of this behavior towards little children.”
In a post on social media, Mpasa said, “A lot of people tell me that I should have hit him, but I don’t agree.” He said that doing that in front of his children would have made the situation “even worse for them.” Mpasa said he doesn’t want a “witchhunt;” he only wants the cyclist to apologize.
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The post “Appalling” – Cyclist Injures Five-Year-Old and Then Sues Her Family first appeared on Wealthy Living.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jirapong Manustrong. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: Fox News