A former soldier who ran into a Sydney motorcyclist says it was an accident after the bike rider had moments before knocked him unconscious.
Glen Anthony Eaves, 59, is fighting charges of driving furiously, predatory driving and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, after running into Daniel Baptista on March 20, 2020.
Eaves is giving evidence in the Burwood Local Court on Thursday and has disputed much of Mr Baptista’s account about two altercations that preceded the crash in Concord.
The car driver left his Mortlake home about 11pm for fresh air that evening, suffering from PTSD-related anxiety and depression, he told the court.
But his journey to a park in Drummoyne was halted by a car outside Breakfast Point that abruptly stopped in the middle of the road without indicating.
Eaves tooted his horn before Mr Baptista rode his white Suzuki motorbike up alongside him to ask what was going on.
Hoping to “de-escalate” the situation Eaves drove away, but could see in his rearview mirror the biker and a ute were pursuing him, he said.
So he pulled up outside the Palace Hotel to confront Mr Baptista who hopped off his bike, and the two men confronted each other.
Mr Baptista told the court on Wednesday that Eaves smelled drunk, had been aggressively screaming at their first meeting and continued to push him despite warnings to stop.
The motorcyclist said he slapped him causing him to wobble and fall backwards, and he applied pressure on his shoulder to keep him down before riding away.
Defence lawyer Hugh White accused him of lying and pointed to discrepancies in his police statement where no mention of a “slap” was made.
Eaves said Mr Baptista came into his space aggressively so he pushed him back but then “a right hook came at me,” knocking him out.
Once he regained consciousness he pursued the bike rider so he could take down his number plate.
“I’m not going to let the guy get away with it,” he said.
About 2km away he saw the motorcycle when he also saw lights in his rearview mirror causing him to look up and see the same ute that was previously following him.
“When I looked back down or forward … the bike was right on top of me.”
At that moment Mr Baptista said he had slowed down for a roundabout, while Eaves said he thought the bike rider was still travelling at the designated 50km/h and had not registered he was stopped.
Eaves then U-turned around the ute trying to block him, and returned home and fell asleep after he was rattled by the “shocking” incident, he said.
Mr Baptista told the court on Wednesday he spent the next week in hospital and up to two months in recovery at home and couldn’t walk for some time.
The hearing continues.