A cyclist who sparked outrage when he kneed a 5-year-old girl to the ground in Belgium on Christmas Day 2020 has won a lawsuit against the child’s father for posting viral footage of the incident online, it emerged Friday.
The unidentified 63-year-old biker — who was captured on camera callously knocking little Neia into the snow on a nature path in Liege Province — won a defamation case against the dad, Patrick Mpasa, The Sun reported.
The cyclist claimed in the lawsuit that the shared footage caused him to feel threatened by angry social media users and scared to leave his home, the outlet reported.
A judge in the city of Verviers will decide in April how much to compensate him.
The jaw-dropping viral video shows the girl walking with her mother in a nature reserve before the cyclist rolls up behind them and appears to deliberately stick out his knee — knocking the child in the head, and sending her toppling face-first into the snow.
He then pedaled away and failed to apologize or show remorse, according to Mpasa, who chased after him.
The furious father later posted the video on social media, asking observers whether they thought he should report the incident to cops, which he ultimately did.
In a court hearing on Feb. 3, 2021, the cyclist insisted that he stuck out his knee to keep his balance and “avoid a fall” — adding that he “did not immediately realize” he had knocked over the girl.
A judge ordered him to pay the equivalent of just over $1 in compensation in March 2021 on grounds that he did not intend to hurt the child — and that he had already been criticized enough on social media.
Mpasa has previously claimed he was not seeking revenge by posting the footage but simply wanted to share the images to “raise awareness” about dangerous transportation situations.
“I also don’t want a witch hunt, I just want him to apologize,” he said in December 2020.
Transportation experts, including members of the locally run cycling Association GRACQ, said at the time the cyclist was required to give pedestrians the right of way on the nature path.
The date of the defamation case ruling was not immediately clear Friday.