A cyclist who knocked over a five-year-old girl on an icy path during a Christmas Day walk went viral after the girl's dad posted the video online – and now he is suing the father.
The video was shared last year by Patrick Mpasa, showing the unnamed cyclist, 62, knocking his daughter down on their festive stroll in Belgium.
Furious viewers across the globe shared the video across their social media channels, blaming the cyclist for the incident.
But now, the yellow helmet-wearing cyclist is taking Mr Mpasa to court, according to local media.
In the video, the young girl is seen walking by her mother's side on the snowy path before the cyclist approaches them from behind.
Just as he rides past the little girl, he appears to extend his knee out, knocking her over in the process.
He then continues on his way down the path, seemingly unphased by what had happened – the family said he did not stop to check if the girl was OK.
Mr Mpasa, who managed to catch up with him, said last year: "He explained what happened and asked us to withdraw the police complaint, but he showed no remorse and did not apologise."
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The dad maintained that he was not looking for revenge against the cyclist, but wanted to share the video on social media to "raise awareness" about dangerous situations on the road.
He said: "A lot of people tell me that I should have hit him, but I don't agree and, in any case, I was in front of my children, which would have made things even worse for them. I also don't want a witch hunt, I just want him to apologise."
The public prosecutor’s office was subsequently made aware of the incident and the police managed to track down the suspected cyclist.
During a court hearing on February 3, the cyclist claimed that the incident happened because he was trying to keep his balance.
He said: "When I was riding close to the girl, I felt my rear wheel sliding. To avoid a fall, I balanced myself with a movement of my knee.
"I felt that I might have hit the girl, but did not immediately realise she had been knocked over."
He also assured the judge that there was not enough room to pass the girl on the other side.
The cyclist was not fined or sentenced by the court – but he was ordered to pay the girl’s family just €1 – equivalent to 86p – in compensation.
But almost one year after the incident, the cyclist is now heading back to court – but this time, to sue the girl's father for defamation.
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He said that the video resulted in him feeling threatened by the public and even scared to leave his own house.
Jacques Englebert, Mr Mpasa's lawyer, responded: "We have the right to express ourselves.
"We have the right to post or have posted a video on the internet. In this case, we must check whether we have exceeded the limits of this freedom of expression."
The two parties are expected to meet for the first time on November 18 and the trial is expected to take place in the first half of 2022.
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