Police investigate viral Twitter video of car striking cyclist

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A quick piece of video on twitter seems to portray a bicyclist being hit by a car, and the driver of the car fails to stop. A lot of people think this took place in Southwest Philadelphia.

It is getting a big response, but the question remains: is the video authentic, or a hoax?

The seven-second clip posted on Twitter on Thursday has been viewed more than 330,000 times.

The video shows the driver calling the cyclist some vulgarities and then hitting him or her and then driving off.

Philadelphia police are now trying to determine if the video is legit or if it was staged.

"We're not quite sure if the video is authentic," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker. "And that's the problem with social media. People can post anything and it's left up to the interpretation of the person viewing it."

The Twitter user who posted the video tells Action News he reposted the clip from another user and that "the video is in Miami, and police and many others assume it is me because I posted it and my Twitter handle is @BenjiFromPhilly."

But residents on the 5200 block of Florence Avenue identify the location depicted in the video as their block.

"I see my car, I see the awning in front of my house..." said Brittany Carter of Southwest Philadelphia.

Not only the location, but the video's authenticity has also come into question.

"The ambulance would have been out here, cops would have been called," said Tamara. "If the person did get hit, they probably got back up and rode off."

Resident Jim Davis said the whole thing could be a hoax.

"There's so much going on on the internet, but hopefully whoever it is, is OK," he said.

Prank or not, many in the city's cycling community said the video is no laughing matter.

"I ended up on somebody's windshield who came into the bike lane, to go around someone who was parallel parking," said Jon Lyons, an avid cyclist. "When I see videos like that, I don't think it's funny at all because it happens to people. People die."

In fact, just last weekend a cyclist in Spring Garden was hit and run over by an SUV.

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Bicyclist identified in deadly Spring Garden crash. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on May 14, 2018.

"I think it is wrong," said Carter. "Whether it is a prank or not it should not have been done. Bottom line."

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