San Jose

Former Bay Area City Council Candidate Uses Homophobic Epithet in Confrontation Over Bike Lane

A confrontation over a San Jose bike lane has now gone viral.

The bike rider in the video demands the driver, identified as one-time Newark City Council candidate Cornelius Lopes, move his car of the lane. But it's the language and homophobic phrases that Lopes responds with that has people buzzing about the video.

Lopes has said he may consider a run for Newark mayor. Court documents show Lopes was tied to a confrontation with bicyclists before more than a decade ago. In that case there were accusations he intentionally ran into a cyclist, but he was never convicted of any crime.

On Monday, NBC Bay Area reached out to Lopes by phone. He told NBC Bay Area nothing happened in San Jose and declined a request to an interview "because I don't have to."

"It's dangerous," said Shiloh Ballard, who runs the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. The coalition fights for bicyclist rights and was instrumental in adding the new green bike lanes around the city.

"It really is an every day occurrence for bicyclists," Ballard said. "It's our No. 1 concern to get folks to be more respectful of the spaces that we're designing."

The bicyclist who recorded the video showing the interaction with Lopes did not return NBC Bay Area's requests for an interview on Monday.

Contact Us