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


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.

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