The cyclist who caused outrage in Belgium after kneeing a 5-year-old girl out of the way is now suing her dad for sharing the footage.
The 62-year-old, who has not been named, has taken a defamation lawsuit against Patrick Mpasa, claiming the public backlash was so severe he was afraid to leave his house.
Mpasa's lawyer Jacques Englebert told local news outlet HBVL, per Daily Mail: "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 parties are expected to meet this month, and a trial is scheduled to begin in the first half of next year.
At the time the infamous video was posted, Mpasa said the cyclist had shown no remorse.
"He explained what happened and asked us to withdraw the police complaint, but he showed no remorse and did not apologize," 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 apologize."
The clip quickly went viral — which would ultimately play a role in the judge's lenient sentence of paying just $1 in damages.
update 3/6/2021 8:46 AM
A cyclist in Belgium was ordered to pay €1 ($1) in damages after he appeared to knock down a five-year-old girl with his knee while riding on a bike path.
The viral video, taken by the girl's father, showed the cyclist approaching the family during a stroll on Christmas Day and bumping the child, causing her to topple over.
According to the court, the suspect was guilty of deliberately kneeing the girl, but had suffered enough already through social media criticism, which prompted the judge to issue the lenient sentencing.
Patrick Mpasa, who filmed the shocking clip, claimed he caught up with the cyclist as soon as the incident occurred, but the cyclist showed no remorse, according to News18. Mpasa then posted the video in hopes of identifying the cyclist and the internet soon obliged.
At the court hearing on February 3, the cyclist said, per the DailyMail, "When I was riding close to the girl, I felt my rear wheel slide off. To avoid a fall, I brought myself back into balance with a movement of the knee. I felt that I hit the girl, but did not immediately realize that she had fallen."
However, the prosecutor argued, "He was annoyed by the people on the path who had to swerve around all the time. He gave the child a ''knee punch'' out of sheer annoyance because an obstacle was in his way for the umpteenth time."
On Friday, the judge issued the light sentence, claiming the unnamed cyclist had no intention of harming the girl and had suffered enough via social media. The court also took into consideration the cyclist's time spent in custody at the time of arrest.
Earlier reports claimed the suspect was facing up to a year in jail. Instead, he will have to pay the girl's family a "symbolic" €1 in compensation, per the outlet.