Skip to main content

Cyclist slashes driver's tire after near collision, finds out driver was a cop

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A cyclist furious at a driver he claims tried to knock him off his bike got him back by slashing one of his tires.

Unbeknownst to him, the driver turned out to be a Minneapolis police officer returning home from a shift – who ended up having to point his gun at the enraged cyclist who was waving a knife a few feet from his face.

John Sawchak, 46, of Minneapolis, has been charged with second degree assault with a dangerous weapon following the incident last Thursday in south Minneapolis.

According to the criminal complaint, the off-duty officer said he was driving westbound along 35th St. S when a biker "suddenly" pulled onto the street between his car and the parked vehicles on the curb.

He had to swerve to avoid the cyclist and looked in his rearview mirror to see Sawchak was still safely on his bike. However, Sawchak caught up with him a few blocks later when he parked on Garfield Ave S.

Sawchak is alleged to have stopped suddenly by the officer's car, and is then said to have slashed one of his tires.

'You tried to kill me!'

The officer chased Sawchak and pulled him off his bike, at which point Sawchak screamed: "You tried to kill me, you tried to kill me!"

After a brief scuffle, Sawchak is alleged to have pulled out a 4-inch bladed knife and "continued to scream hysterically...waving the knife in the victim's direction."

The officer pulled his handgun and displayed the badge on his vest, informing Sawchak he was a cop, which "didn't seem to change [his] erratic and outwardly enraged behavior," the complaint says.

He ignored several requests to drop the knife, at one point screaming for help from others to call the police as "this guy has a gun." He eventually relented when the officer pointed the handgun at his chest.

The maximum sentence for 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon is seven years in prison.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.


Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.


Tire slashing spree in Plymouth

Many Plymouth residents are outraged over a senseless spree of vandalism that left dozens with slashed tires. Police say vandals focused on the area around Xenium Lane and 35th Avenue in Plymouth. As of Saturday, there are no suspects.