A young woman has been left shaken and fearing for her safety after a cyclist opened her car door and tried to attack her on one of Melbourne’s busiest roads.
Tarrah Alexandria Burns, 27, had parked along St Kilda Road in South Yarra on Tuesday to pick up a parcel from the post shop and was heading back to her car when she first saw the cyclist.
Ms Burns told Yahoo7 she saw the rider approaching in the distance, but believed he was still about 30 metres away when she entered her car.
But after she got in the vehicle, she claims the cyclist opened her door and unleashed a torrent of abuse, telling her: “I could’ve died, you could’ve killed me.”
“He was really aggressive towards me and spitting and yelling,” Ms Burns said, adding that he tried to swing at her.
“When he opened the door, he tried to come inside the car to get right up in my face so I shuffled over on to the passenger seat as much as I could to protect myself from this person that was coming at me.
“I definitely felt like he could’ve hurt me.”
Ms Burns, a social media specialist and university student, said she went into shock and didn’t know how to react.
“It put my whole body in shock,” she said.
“You think that you’re put in situations like this you could fight back. I couldn’t do anything to protect myself.”
She said she asked him to get out of her car, which prompted him to stand outside the door, slamming it over and over again.
The incident attracted the attention of a local Toll delivery driver, who intervened and told the cyclist to move along.
“I’m so grateful that he was there to help me because I didn’t know what to do in that situation,” she said.
Ms Burns said she has been left fearful of going out alone in public, and no longer feels safe enough to walk to work.
“It was broad daylight, 2.30 in the afternoon on a busy road … I’m at a loss of what else I can do (to stay safe),” she said.
“You try to do all the right things but it’s still not enough.”
She said following the death of Eurydice Dixon, who was found murdered in a park last week, violence against women was “on the forefront of people’s minds, yet people still think they can treat others this way”.
The delivery driver, identified as a man named Upender, has been driving with the company for over a decade and said he felt compelled to intervene.
“It’s everybody’s duty to look out for each other,” he told Yahoo7 via a statement.
“I was there and when I saw what happened, I had to jump in and stop it.”
Ms Burns didn’t immediately file a police report, fearing it was her word against the cyclist’s, but since speaking to a number of witnesses she said she will be make an official statement.
She described the rider as middle-aged, Caucasian with grey hair and a grey beard. She said he wasn’t wearing proper cycling gear or wearing a helmet.