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Old 08-20-07, 04:24 PM   #1
Blue Order
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Two cyclists intentionally run down in Portland, Oregon

Man intentionally hists cyclists

Rage victim taking it "day by day"

Road rage tragedy raises questions, concerns

D.A. details charges against driver

Eschweiler pleads not guilty
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Old 08-20-07, 04:27 PM   #2
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In Portland??? I'm shocked.
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Old 08-20-07, 04:29 PM   #3
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In Portland??? I'm shocked.
Why hold back, HH? Surely you must have some wisdom to offer about how this assault can be laid at the feet of Portland's insidious bike lanes.
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Old 08-20-07, 05:10 PM   #4
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Gosh Wally, there goes my image of the west coast as being the land of peace, love, and bells. (Cynicism intended.)
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Old 08-20-07, 08:15 PM   #5
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Driver ran cyclist down for not yielding the road to him

Accused driver said frustrated by cyclist

06:43 PM PDT on Monday, August 20, 2007

By JANE SMITH, Special to kgw.com

Johnny Eschweiler stood quietly during his first court appearance.

Police say the 46-year-old intentionally rammed his SUV into a bicyclist during a case of road rage.

According to investigators, Eschweiler got into an argument with 25-year-old bicyclist Ben Ramsdell last Friday in Southeast Portland.

They said Ramsdell kicked Eschweiler's SUV. Eschweiler then followed Ramsdell around a corner and hit him with the vehicle.

Background: Struck cyclist speaks out

"I get mad at cyclists myself but we can never drive someone over with our cars. Hello? It's not acceptable," said Ramsdell's friend, Jon Barber.

Barber said Ramsdell was being treated for a broken nose and severe scrapes.

Police said Eschweiler was frustrated with Ramsdell for not sharing the road.

"The perception on the part of the of the motorist was that the bicyclist was not yielding the roadway to him and that leads to the motorist striking the bicyclist," said Sgt. Brian Schmautz with Portland Police Bureau.

A second bicyclist, Tim Mastne, unintentionally pedaled into the path of the collision.

He suffered road rash all over his body.

Eschweiler was charged with two counts each of second degree assault and attempted assault. The charges are Measure 11 felonies.

Last edited by Blue Order; 08-20-07 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:02 PM   #6
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Yes, even in the land of milk and honey does messed up stuff like this go down. It's not suprising is the sad thing, and the really sad thing are the way some people are reacting to it. I'm hoping it's just people being smarmy and antagonistic but there's a lot of people copping the "the biker deserved what he got for kicking that guy's car" argument. Never mind the fact that so far the only people who say that his car was kicked was the guy inside the car that soon after ended up trying to take his vengeance on two vulnarable roadway users. On top of that it's just terrifying for me. I guess it's a good thing I ride extremely careful so as to not anger these multi ton boxes of death.

ahh, i feel better now
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Old 08-20-07, 09:12 PM   #7
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Yep, a few cyclist-hating JAMs posting here:

Portland Tribune
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Old 08-20-07, 11:03 PM   #8
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Gosh Wally, there goes my image of the west coast as being the land of peace, love, and bells. (Cynicism intended.)
Yes, well imagine it happening in your quiet, residential neighborhood just blocks from your house on a 25 MPH street where everyone takes the lane because it isn't wide enough for doing anything else. In a city where most people aren't extroverted enough for a direct, verbal confrontation, much less a physical one.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:24 AM   #9
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Over here in sunny Idaho I was out riding yesterday morning on a rural road. A truck had stopped at an intersection. I was watching him before he pulled out into my lane to go the same direction I was traveling on my bike. He was careful and looked both ways, but did not expect a cyclist. As I was going past his stopped vehicle I could see his view of me was obstructed by his front left door post. He pulled out behind me and was surprised to see me. He pulled alongside of me and rolled down his window. We both stopped. He apologized profusely that he did not see me. He really had posed no danger to me at any time. I assured him I knew that, but I had seen him, was watching him, and no harm was done. But, in a week I will be in Vancouver and am planning to commute by bicycle about 17 miles one way to a meeting held over three days.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
Yep, a few cyclist-hating JAMs posting here:

Portland Tribune
"On my commute to work each day I travel in several areas with bicycle commuters and the ones that consider themselves part of the traffic and are aware of the rules of the road and their surroundings are a joy to share the road with."

I like to hope at least a few of my fellow road users feel this way about me!
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Old 08-21-07, 06:42 PM   #11
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Yes, well imagine it happening in your quiet, residential neighborhood just blocks from your house on a 25 MPH street where everyone takes the lane because it isn't wide enough for doing anything else. In a city where most people aren't extroverted enough for a direct, verbal confrontation, much less a physical one.
Actually, my neighborhood is a large apartment complex, on a rather busy, sometimes noisy street. But, I don't even hear the big trucks downshifting anymore, much in the same way as residents of Roxbury and Dorchester don't hear the gunfire, and residents of South Boston don't even hear the drunken fistfights. (more cynicsm. Guess I'm on a roll. )
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Old 08-26-07, 04:39 AM   #12
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Here's some justice

Motorist charged with felony assault and held on $500k bail after hitting bicyclist.

Chalk one up for the good guys.

http://tinyurl.com/ynknpq
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Old 08-26-07, 05:33 AM   #13
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you wouldn't know it from the headline the idiot Web monkey wrote for the story:

"Driver frustrated cyclist wasn't sharing road"

(who was frustrated and who wasn't sharing the road?)
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Old 08-26-07, 11:34 AM   #14
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Share the Road = I ride my bike, you drive behind me. When it's safe to pass, we can take turns.
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Old 08-26-07, 09:29 PM   #15
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So did the cyclist kick the car or not?
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Old 08-26-07, 09:49 PM   #16
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So did the cyclist kick the car or not?
He says he did not. No witnesses saw him kick the car. In fact, the only one making allegations that the car was kicked is the motorist.

The cyclists responds in the comments section of this article. Before that, the author of that blog interviewed the cyclist via phone when he was still in the hospital. At that time, he also denied that he kicked the car.
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Old 08-26-07, 10:25 PM   #17
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Thanks for the link donnamb. Obviously any assault, especially with a vehicle, but I'd really like to hear both sides. I didn't really understand this hate of cyclists by drivers until I started reading message boards like this where people boast about running red lights and using U-Locks to smash windows. Then you have articles about Critical Mass and incidents with it. I don't think he deserved it but I don't think any sane person would run a biker over unless he was really pushed to his limits.
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Old 08-26-07, 11:12 PM   #18
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Thus far, this quote from a local TV station story is all we know from the perspective of the motorist:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGW story
Police said Eschweiler was frustrated with Ramsdell for not sharing the road.

"The perception on the part of the of the motorist was that the bicyclist was not yielding the roadway to him and that leads to the motorist striking the bicyclist," said Sgt. Brian Schmautz with Portland Police Bureau.
Not taking the lane in the area where the collision happened would be pretty unwise, IMO. On the other hand, were I to take the lane and still end up having a motor vehicle pass me with a half inch between it and my handlebar, I'd be pretty darned upset.

This is a Measure 11 offense, so I doubt we'll be hearing much else from the motorist except during the course of the legal proceedings.
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Old 08-28-07, 12:57 PM   #19
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Why isn't the motorist being charged with attempted Vehicular Manslaughter?

Edit: I just looked at some of the images. Good Lord...the bike is UNDER the car!! Attempted Murder anyone?!?
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Old 08-28-07, 06:52 PM   #20
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Why isn't the motorist being charged with attempted Vehicular Manslaughter?

Edit: I just looked at some of the images. Good Lord...the bike is UNDER the car!! Attempted Murder anyone?!?
We don't have Attempted Vehicular Manslaughter or Vehicular Manslaughter on the books in Oregon. It is a Measure 11 offense, however. That's serious business around here.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:28 AM   #21
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We don't have Attempted Vehicular Manslaughter or Vehicular Manslaughter on the books in Oregon. It is a Measure 11 offense, however. That's serious business around here.
Oh...that's good. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:25 PM   #22
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Won’t the wreckless SUV driver have to go to LA to get a jury of non-prejudicial peers?
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Old 09-01-07, 09:31 PM   #23
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... I don't think any sane person would run a biker over unless he was really pushed to his limits.
Assuming people are sane is a serious mistake. Consider how many people you encounter and the frequency of mental illness. "Limits" are a function of mental state.
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Old 09-11-07, 01:47 PM   #24
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Perceptions of the world around us are a funny thing. I'm always amazed by the number of people that go through life, fearful of their shadow, just knowing that anybody and anything is going to be a danger to them. If you look at crime statistics, life was more dangerous when I was kid growing up in the 60's-70's than it is today in the US There was more crime, but the metropolitan murder of the day didn't lead the news and leave people quaking in fear. Strangely, I never find people discussing how much safer they are today than in the 70's. Why, there were all these crimes reported on the news last night, what's our world coming to? Likewise, when I was growing up in rural Indiana human genetics were no different than today. Mental health hasn't changed significantly since then, just reporting. Even then everybody in every small town knew someone who was "odd," we just didn't call it mental illness. In my town there was a guy the kids called "ding-ding" who rode around on his bike all day talking to himself, picking things up here and there to attach to his bike (and later trike). He was a veritable rolling curiosity shop. There were certainly a lot more abused women and children back then than today. There was was quite a bit more drinking, so maybe mental health was actually worse than today as well. It certainly wasn't treated as effectively. Funny, but I don't remember anybody in my home town spending their lives in fear of the general populace. When we start looking at each other as humans instead of the objectified "other" presented by our mass media, life becomes a better place. It's all a matter of perception. Throw away the metro section of your newspaper, stop watching TV news, start talking to your neighbors.
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Old 09-11-07, 04:41 PM   #25
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Update:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGW
Man accused of deliberately ramming bikers released from jail

03:26 PM PDT on Friday, September 7, 2007

By kgw.com Staff

A man accused of intentionally ramming two bicyclists with his car was released from jail Thursday night after the judge in the case reduced his bail by nearly half a million dollars.

* * *

Because Eschweiler could not afford to post bail, he would never have been allowed to leave jail, the judge said, reducing it to $50,000.

Eschweiler faces several restrictions: he must wear a GPS ankle bracelet, he is to have no contact with his alleged vicitms, he may not possess weapons, drugs or alcohol and he must surrender his driver's license.

* * *
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