MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Random attacks against bicyclists in Minneapolis are prompting warnings Sunday from police.
Two people were hit on Friday in separate incidents, including 20-year-old Mackenzie Jensen of south Minneapolis.
Mackenzie never saw what hit him, but a witness said it was a vicious attack.
Mackenzie has a fractured jaw after someone threw a chunk of concrete at his face from a passing vehicle. He was biking on a quiet south Minneapolis block of 41st Street when officers say he was attacked out of the blue. A woman was also hit was in the same area.
The female victim was grazed with the chunk of cinder block, but Jensen is in rough shape.
In a bike community like this, his story and his photos may come as particularly unsettling.
Between Aldrich and Bryant – on 41st Street – it’s the path most traveled for Jensen. His mom Kristin Jensesn tells WCCO, “There was never a time he didn’t want to be on his bike.”
As her little boy became a man, he kept the hobby by commuting this path to work. He was on his way in on Friday.
“About the size of a brick is what had hit his face,” Kristin said. “[It] came flying at him out of nowhere and just cracked him in the face.”
Witnesses say a man driving a white Bronco and wearing a glove, his hands protected from the rough cement, was hurling a concrete chunk at Mackenzie.
John Elder says Minneapolis Police are looking into it.
“It’s so blatantly aggressive and so unprovoked. There’s nothing to lead to believe that that bicyclist had done anything to this individual because it was a pattern of behavior on this person’s part,” Elder said.
Officers say they have a list of similar reports from around south Minneapolis, Mackenzie was hurt the worst.
“How could somebody do this to another human being? How could they live with themselves,” Kristin said.
Kristin can’t wrap her mind around the senseless and random act of violence her son couldn’t have seen coming.
“You can’t take that pain away of knowing that he’s going to be damaged. He’s gonna be, not the same anymore,” she said.
Mackenzie’s jaw is wired shut and face shattered. He’ll need two permanent plates near his cheeks. All because of a stranger who cut his ride short.
“Here comes somebody that thought it would be a just a great idea to injure my child and for no reason. I think the no reason part and feeling so helpless is the part that gets me, every time, every time,” Kristin said.
Kristin said she is also worried about the rest of the south Minneapolis community.
“So worried about the community and the city of Minneapolis,” Kristinsaid. “Is he going to strike again?”
Minneapolis consistently ranks among the country’s top bicycle-friendly cities. Elder says he’s seen bikers and drivers become frustrated and break the rules of the shared roadways, but he’s never seen anything like this incident.
“There’s been some very small amount of rivalry over the years between bicyclists and motor vehicles,” Elder said.
It’s hard to know the exact motivation of the driver until he is found, something that only adds to this mother’s anger.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Jensen. To donate, click here.
The car is described as a white or cream Ford Bronco with a possible window broken toward or on the back with a piece of wood tacked up on it. Officers say you can call Crimestoppers or Minneapolis Police if you have tips.
They are also reviewing any surveillance tapes in the area to try to get a license plate number.