Doctor Gets Five Years For Assaulting Cyclists With His Car


LA Times

Brian noted earlier how Charles Diez got four months in jail for shooting (and barely missing) a cyclist who was in his way, and considered it an embarrassment. In California, they are a bit tougher: In July 2008 Christopher Thompson, passed two cyclists and got in front of them and jammed on the brakes. Ron Peterson went face first into the rear window, breaking his teeth, slicing off his nose, and cutting his face; he needed ninety stiches.

He was sentenced last week to five years in prison for mayhem; assault with a deadly weapon, his car; battery with serious injury; and reckless driving causing injury.

This is how the car looked after the accident; you can go to Streetsblog for the gorier pictures of the cyclist.

According to the LA Times,

On the day of the crash, Thompson said he was driving down the road on his way to work when several cyclists swore at him and flipped him off as he called on them to ride single file. He said he stopped his car to take a photo to identify the riders and never intended to hurt anyone.

But the cyclists said the doctor was acting aggressively from the start. They said he honked loudly from behind them and passed by dangerously close as they moved to ride single file before he pulled in front and braked hard.

A police officer told jurors that shortly after the crash that Thompson said he slammed on his brakes in front of the riders to "teach them a lesson."

The judge called it a a "wake-up call" to motorists and cyclists, and urged the authorities to build more bike lanes. "Government must become aware of the dangerous conditions existing on our city streets and the threat of injury to cyclists."

We concur. LA Times

Now we have to find out what happened to the drivers in Canada, where the wheels of justice grind much more slowly. We will check on these stories:
Taxi Driver Severs Cyclists' Leg in Violent Hit-and-Run
The Case for a Better Bike Infrastructure (and Better Driver Training)

Tags: Bikes | Los Angeles