A cyclist has told of his terror after a “deranged” driver tailed him for more than a mile through the city before ploughing into his bike and speeding off with him hanging on to the car bonnet.
Iain Thomson was forced to flee the driver of a Renault Clio who pursued him from Fountainbridge to Johnston Terrace after a minor altercation on his way to work.
The 32-year-old thought he had escaped his attacker when he was rammed from behind and forced on to the bonnet of the hatchback.
The car sped off with the pub supervisor clinging to the windscreen wipers.
The drama ended at 8.50am on Monday morning with Mr Thomson in hospital and the “grinning” driver at large.
Detectives are now scouring CCTV to trace the Renault Clio and are appealing for anyone who witnessed the chase to get in touch.
Mr Thomson, from Slateford, said: “He had this grin on his face, then just drove into me.”
The chase began after the Clio apparently braked hard behind another car.
He said: “The Clio behind them obviously hadn’t seen the car in front indicating and stopped very abruptly.
“I had to slow down, went past and made an innocent gesture, as if to suggest ‘how couldn’t you have seen that’.
“He followed me, pulled up in front of me before the lights at Cargo and shouted out his window that the second car had stopped without any warning. I just kept cycling because I didn’t want to get into anything, but going through the next set of traffic lights at Farmfoods he swerved in as if he was going to hit me.
“I probably shouldn’t have, but I shouted at him as we passed round that bend. At this point he got out the car and started running at me.
“The lights were at red and I ended up going up over the pavement to make sure I wasn’t going to get attacked.” Mr Thomson said he cycled up Semple Street to Morrison Street, went across busy Lothian Road and on to Bread Street. He then peddled up Spittal Street and on to Johnston Terrace. He described what happened next as “beyond belief”.
Mr Thomson said: “I must have got three-quarters of the way up, nearly on the Royal Mile, and realised there was a car right behind me. He’d obviously waited for me to turn around, had this grin on his face, and just drove into the back of my bike at speed, buckling the wheel.
“I leant on to the car and ended up on the bonnet. I grabbed the windscreen wipers and the wing mirror, he reversed, did a U-turn and started speeding down Johnston Terrace.
“I didn’t want to let go in case I went under the wheels, so I hung on and hoped he would just stop. He must have been doing 20mph-30mph.
“He slammed on the brakes to try and get me off. I was hanging on thinking there’s no way he could keep going.
“I didn’t want to end up under his wheels so I pushed myself off the car and rolled down the road.”
Mr Thomson, who was helped by three witnesses, was taken to hospital but escaped with only grazes and bruises.
Acting Detective Constable Kris Haigh, from Gayfield CID, urged anyone who saw the driver to contact police.
He said: “I’ve never known of something like this happening before. We hope someone has seen something.”