Driver who allegedly ran down biker speaks

Glen Eaves says it was an accident when he ran into a motorcyclist after being knocked unconscious.
Glen Eaves says it was an accident when he ran into a motorcyclist after being knocked unconscious.

A former soldier who drove into a Sydney motorcyclist and then fled the scene 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 gave evidence in the Burwood Local Court on Thursday and disputed much of Mr Baptista's account about two altercations that preceded the crash in Concord.

The car driver said he left his Mortlake home about 11pm for fresh air that evening, suffering from PTSD-related anxiety and depression.

But his journey to a park in Drummoyne was halted by a ute parked outside Breakfast Point that abruptly stopped in the middle of the road without indicating.

Mr Baptista told the court on Wednesday his girlfriend had been double-parked in a white Toyota Corolla with her hazard lights on when Eaves pulled up "aggressively screaming" at her.

But Eaves said he only saw a man in a ute and was stationed behind when Mr Baptista rode his white Suzuki motorbike up alongside him to ask what was going on.

Eaves denies yelling at the woman: "What the f*** are you doing? Move your f***ing car. Who do you think you are"?.

He also denies calling Mr Baptista a "f***ing Lebanese c***".

Hoping to "de-escalate" the situation Eaves told the court he drove away but could see in his rearview mirror the biker and the ute were in pursuit.

"Goodness me these guys are coming after me," he said.

So he pulled up outside the Palace Hotel to confront Mr Baptista who hopped off his bike.

He was questioned how this amounted to de-escalating the tension.

"I thought we would discuss, talk about it," he said.

Mr Baptista said Eaves smelled intoxicated, looked red-faced and enraged, and continued to push him despite warnings to stop, so he slapped him in the face with an open palm.

"I think being so drunk his legs wobbled," Mr Baptista said.

Defence lawyer Hugh White accused Mr Baptista of lying and pointed to discrepancies in his police statement where no mention of a "slap" was made.

Eaves denies he was drunk and said Mr Baptista angrily came into his space 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 for his number plate registration.

"I'm not going to let the guy get away with it," he said.

About 2km away he saw the motorcycle but headlights shining from behind caused him to look up and see the same ute in his mirror, he says.

"When I looked back down or forward ... the bike was right on top of me."

At that moment Mr Baptista had slowed down for a roundabout, and CCTV footage shows Eaves' car front lift up on impact, sending the bike rider flying into the air.

The footage also showed Mr Baptista stay seated on the ground while Eaves quickly U-turns and drives away.

Magistrate Greg Grogin asked Eaves why he wrote in his first police statement that the motorcyclist broke suddenly and he could not stop quickly enough.

And that he was "going to render assistance but the rider leaped up and stormed towards my car".

In the statement Eaves only mentioned seeing the ute after the collision.

Eaves said he wrote the statement while feeling "sick as a dog" with a "foggy brain".

The hearing will resume at a later date.

Australian Associated Press