The first of a string of witnesses to the Central Park rampage last year by a group of youths that raped and beat a female jogger testified Tuesday he managed to escape the mob by speeding away on his bicycle.

Michael Vigna, 31, testified in State Supreme Court at the trial of Kharey Wise, 18, and Kevin Richardson, 16, and described the night of April 19, 1989, when he came upon the group of youths.He said one of them leaped at him and took a swing with his fist but he swerved his bike and managed to escape.

After Vigna's run-in, two other bicyclists and four male joggers were attacked or menaced by the mob, which also ran down a female jogger and dragged her into bushes where she was beaten and gang-raped.

Tuesday's testimony followed a bizarre outburst Monday by Wise, in which he pounded his head with his fist and screamed, "I can't take it - No, no, no, no!"