Police step in after Bristol man tweets that he hit cyclist

This is a copy of a report in the Guardian:

Police are investigating after a stockbroker tweeted that he failed to stop after hitting a cyclist while driving because he was late for work.

Rayhan Qadar, 21, posted the tweet on Tuesday last week under the Twitter handle Ray Pew, writing: “Think I just hit a cyclist. But I’m late for work so had to drive off lol.”

The tweet drew widespread criticism online, and within hours he was sacked from his job in the stockbroking department of Bristol investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

Avon and Somerset police said they would be investigating the claim, saying: “We are aware of a tweet regarding a collision between a car and a bike. We are looking into this now. Any witnesses call 101. If you’ve been involved in a collision please report it at your nearest police station.”

Qadar, a former Cardiff University student, later apologised on Twitter for what he said was a “bad taste joke”. He tweeted: “My previous tweet about the cyclist was not true.” He said he had never hit a cyclist and in another tweet said that “99%” of what he posted on the social network site was “nonsense”.

But the apology was not sufficient to save his job. Hargreaves Lansdown said: “One of our employees has failed to conduct themselves to the standards we expect of our staff.

“We find these online comments totally unacceptable. Upon becoming aware of this issue we have terminated this person’s employment with immediate effect.”

Qadar’s Twitter account was altered so that only his 1,323 confirmed followers can access his tweets. Speaking on Tuesday from his home in Bristol, Qadar again apologised. He said: “I am 100% sorry. It was a joke gone bad. I understand now that I can’t say things like that. If I did have an accident I would not drive away.

“I was literally late to work – that’s the only true bit – and I tweet a lot of nonsense. Obviously it’s not true. The only true bit is I was late for work.

“I say a lot of things like that on Twitter. People that follow me for a few years they know I talk a lot of nonsense really. That’s all it was. It was a really dumb thing to say and now I’ve lost my job. I had no idea it would blow up like that.

“Obviously I regret it and I’m so sorry to anyone who thought I might have hit someone. I wouldn’t ever drive away if I did. I’m in a bit of shock at the moment. I know it’s foolish. I wouldn’t do it again.”

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