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Businessman wants to 'nail' cyclists

Stuff.co.nz: Businessman wants to ’nail’ cyclists

The Press Last updated 11:42 26/01/2010

A Christchurch businessman has caused outrage with comments on an online forum saying he would "nail" cyclists with his Hummer.

Richard Freeman, The owner of the Sign of the Takahe, told TV3 that his comments were tongue in cheek.

"I drive a black H2 Hummer and have put 2 into the curb over the last 6 months," the post reads.

"Stay off the f.... road or I’m gonna nail ya!"

The comment was reportedly posted on a Yahoo message board under the alias ’MR58SHOTAGAIN’.

"He’s just venting, but he’s really being a bit of a dick about it," cyclist Paul Kircher told TV3.

Freeman’s second post stated: "Do you really think a pack of homo cyclists scare me? Go shave ya legs lightweight. In fact I challenge anyone wearing spandex and shaved legs to get to my front door unharmed. I’ll wager a light $10k they wont!"

’MR58SHOTAGAIN’ has been identified as Freeman, who owns a number of businesses.

Freeman lives off Dyers Pass Road, a popular road for cyclists and tourists.

Yahoo removed his comments for reasons of profanity and personal attack - but not before they were copied onto popular sport website Vorb by a concerned cyclist - they have since been viewed 26,000 times.

Freeman agreed to appear on Campbell Live, then pulled out on his lawyer’s advice.

He says that he meant what he said but that it was tongue in cheek.

In an email to Campbell Live, Freeman said: "To seriously think that I would run a cyclist off the road is absolutely ludicrous and absurd! I would suggest that the small handful of over precious Lance Armstrong wannabes look to purchase a sense of humour, rather than the next spandex body suit, and perhaps show the general motorists a little road courtesy as well."

But even after pulling out of his interview, TV3 said Freeman was back online. This time one of those he directly targeted was cyclists Craig Scott - who is also a police officer.

"From what I’ve seen with his comments he has certainly broken the law a number of times," Scott told TV3. "But I’m not aware of any complaints from anyone as such."

Scott did not believe Freeman’s comments were just tongue in cheek.

"Freeman’s comments won’t stand him in good stead if there ever is an accident.

"It wouldn’t help in court. The comments I’ve seen on the internet - its starting to wear thin," Scott told TV3.

Freeman said he has never hit a cyclist, and never will.