A former soldier who crashed into a Sydney motorcyclist and then fled the scene said it was an accident after the motorcyclist lost consciousness moments before.
Glen Anthony Eaves, 59, is battling charges of angry driving, predatory conduct and assault causing actual bodily harm, after meeting Daniel Baptista on March 20, 2020.
Eaves testified in local Burwood court on Thursday and disputed much of Mr Baptista’s account about two altercations leading up to the Concord crash.
The driver of the car said he left his Mortlake home around 11 p.m. for some fresh air that evening, suffering from anxiety and depression related to PTSD.
But his trip to a park in Drummoyne was interrupted by an ute parked outside Breakfast Point which abruptly stopped in the middle of the road without indicating.
Mr Baptista told court on Wednesday that his girlfriend was double parked in a white Toyota Corolla with his hazard lights on when Eaves pulled over “yelling aggressively at him”.
But Eaves said he only saw one man in a ute and was stationed behind when Mr Baptista rode his white Suzuki motorcycle alongside him to ask him what was going on.
Eaves denies shouting at the woman, “What are you doing?” Move your fucking car. Who do you think you are for â?
He also denies calling Mr. Baptista a “fucking Lebanese c ***.”
Hoping to “defuse” the situation, Eaves told the court he drove away but could see in his rearview mirror that the biker and the ute were chasing him.
âMy God, these guys are coming after me,â he said.
He therefore stopped in front of the Palace Hotel to confront Mr. Baptista who jumped from his bicycle.
He was asked how this amounted to defusing the tension.
“I thought we were going to discuss it, talk about it,” he said.
Mr Baptista said Eaves smelled drunk, had a red, enraged face, and continued to push him despite warnings to stop, so he slapped him in the face with an open palm.
âI think being so drunk his legs were shaking,â Baptista said.
Defense attorney Hugh White accused Mr. Baptista of lying and pointed to discrepancies in his police statement where no mention of a “slap” was made.
Eaves denies he was drunk and says Mr Baptista angrily entered his space, so he pushed him away, but “a right hook came to me” knocking him out.
Once he regained consciousness, he sued the cyclist for his license plate registration.
âI won’t let the guy get away with it,â he said.
About 2 km away he saw the motorcycle, but the headlights shining from behind made him look up and see the same ute in his rearview mirror, he said.
“When I looked back or forward … the bike was right above me.”
By this point, Mr Baptista had slowed down for a roundabout and CCTV footage shows the front of Eaves’ car lifting up on impact, sending the cyclist flying through the air.
The footage also showed Mr. Baptista remaining seated on the floor as Eaves quickly turned and walked away.
Magistrate Greg Grogin asked Eaves why he wrote in his first police statement that the motorcyclist suddenly broke and couldn’t stop quickly enough.
And that he “was going to help but the motorcyclist jumped up and rushed towards my car”.
In the statement, Eaves did not mention seeing the ute until after the collision.
Eaves said he wrote the statement when he felt “sick as a dog” with a “foggy brain”.
The hearing will resume at a later date.
Australian Associated Press