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Old 08-09-09, 10:13 PM   #1
hrt4me
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Melee of cyclists / Ogden incident leads to four arrests


Melee of cyclists / Ogden incident leads to four arrests
Sunday, August 9, 2009
By Trent Toone
Standard-Examiner staff


OGDEN -- Was it a friendly group bicycle ride through downtown Ogden or a confrontational melee that included obstructing traffic, assault, obscenities and alcohol?

Depends on who you talk to.

Numbers vary from 35 to 70, but a large group of cyclists, referred to as Critical Mass, was taking a monthly ride to celebrate cycling and assert their rights to the road on Friday when Ogden police say things got out of hand. Four individuals were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and public intoxication.

Matt Hasenyager, owner of Skyline Cycle and one of the bicyclists, said the group was obeying traffic laws and having fun.

However, police reports indicate some were hostile, disrupted traffic flow, yelled obscenities and made gestures at motorists while intoxicated.

The trouble started at the intersection of 23rd Street and Grant Avenue when a woman motorist stopped at a red light and was suddenly surrounded by bicyclists. When the light turned green, she was unable to pull forward and honked her horn.

Cyclists responded by yelling obscenities and someone threw a cup of soda pop and hit the woman in the face, the police report said. When she pulled forward, her vehicle bumped one of the bicycles, causing minor damage to the fender and wheel. Then she called police.

"They demanded she be arrested for aggravated assault, but it wasn't intentional," said Ogden Lt. Mike Ashment. "The woman didn't want to pursue anything."

The group continued its ride to 24th Street and Lincoln Avenue, where two individuals halted traffic, entered the intersection and began escorting the other riders through even though the light was red, according to the police report. Angry motorists were forced to maneuver around the pair and more gestures were made and obscenities yelled, Ashment said.

The scene was observed by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper and Weber County deputy who were assisting the Ogden City gang unit for the weekend. They arrived and instructed the two cyclists to leave the intersection and talk with them. One complied, but the other pedaled away after the group.

Deputy Trevor Petersen pursued the individual, eventually tackling him off his bike. Petersen's actions surprised the group, which then surrounded him. He ordered them to move away and called for backup, the report said. Eventually more than six officers arrived to help disperse the irate crowd.

Four individuals were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and public intoxication. They are Samuel Mc-Kay, 26; Sara Fulks, 33; Donald Hall, 61; and KC Shirra, 19. A 12-pack of beer was located in Fulks' backpack.

It was a bizarre scene, trooper Chris Turley said.

"I have never encountered something like this. Usually people are very law abiding, but the crowd was very hostile. Many were intoxicated and smelled of alcohol," Turley said. "It was unusual behavior."

Hasenyager was riding with the group and recalls the scene as one of chaos and confusion. He said his friend that was tackled didn't know the deputy wanted him to stop.

"It was hard to know who he (the deputy) was talking to when he said 'Stop sir, stop.' There 30 of us," Hasenyager said. "I don't think the police department as a whole was out of line, but this individual (the deputy) could have handled it in a different fashion. If it had been handled differently, without physical force, I wouldn't be talking about it right now. Maybe tickets could have been written."

According to several Web sites, Critical Mass is a bicycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month in hundreds of cities around the world. The ride was originally founded in 1992 in San Francisco with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to cyclists. Participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.

Ashment and Lt. Scott Conley both find it odd that the group is out promoting fun and bicycle awareness, yet failing to comply with traffic rules and other laws.

"It doesn't jive," Ashment said.

"Why are they so confrontational with public? Why do they have alcohol in their backpacks? From what I am being told, they were they individuals escalating the situation," Conley said.

Hasenyager didn't see the incident at 23rd and Grant, but said has heard several different versions of what happened. He said it was heartbreaking to see this all happen, but the bottom line, he said, is that Ogden is an outdoor hot spot.

"The best we can do now is move this in a positive direction, learn a valuable lesson and move forward, and be better because of it."
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Old 08-09-09, 10:30 PM   #2
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Critical mass has become an excuse to party. You are supposed to bring a bicycle so people do. If they were supposed to bring a football they would bring that. I would not be surprised if people were driving to critical mass.
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Old 08-09-09, 11:08 PM   #3
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Critical Mass adding fuel to the fire of motorist hate.

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Old 08-10-09, 09:49 AM   #4
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The scene was observed by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper and Weber County deputy who were assisting the Ogden City gang unit for the weekend. They arrived and instructed the two cyclists to leave the intersection and talk with them. One complied, but the other pedaled away after the group.

Deputy Trevor Petersen pursued the individual, eventually tackling him off his bike. Petersen's actions surprised the group, which then surrounded him. He ordered them to move away and called for backup, the report said. Eventually more than six officers arrived to help disperse the irate crowd.

Four individuals were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and public intoxication. They are Samuel Mc-Kay, 26; Sara Fulks, 33; Donald Hall, 61; and KC Shirra, 19. A 12-pack of beer was located in Fulks' backpack.

It was a bizarre scene, trooper Chris Turley said.

"I have never encountered something like this. Usually people are very law abiding, but the crowd was very hostile. Many were intoxicated and smelled of alcohol," Turley said. "It was unusual behavior."

Hasenyager was riding with the group and recalls the scene as one of chaos and confusion. He said his friend that was tackled didn't know the deputy wanted him to stop.
Oh, the humanity....Sheesh, a couple of Barney Fife's if there ever was one. The "Ogden City gang unit" is taking down drunken bike riders. On the plus side, it gives Utah hicks something to get indignent about and talk about with all their plural wives.....
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Old 08-10-09, 10:40 AM   #5
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I would not be surprised if people were driving to critical mass.
Heh... That'd be funny.
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Old 08-10-09, 01:39 PM   #6
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I've always thought Utah was quite bicycle friendly. A little more "help" from Critical Mass" and that could certainly change.
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Old 08-10-09, 03:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
Critical mass has become an excuse to party. You are supposed to bring a bicycle so people do. If they were supposed to bring a football they would bring that. I would not be surprised if people were driving to critical mass.
I have seen many people drive to the start of a CM and unload their bikes.
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Old 08-10-09, 03:34 PM   #8
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*yawn* for the masses
numbering from 35-70... well I see we're going to a lot of accurate information from this story.
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Old 08-10-09, 03:35 PM   #9
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If the story is accurate the Critical Mass crew in Odgen are a bunch of idiots. I am glad the cyclist was tackled. What kind of piss poor excuse is that? "He didn't know who the cop was talking to?" Then the guy goes on to say that maybe they should have given out tickets. Yeah, to the dude who tried to escape on his bike after police attempted to detain him?
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Old 08-10-09, 03:38 PM   #10
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Oh, the humanity....Sheesh, a couple of Barney Fife's if there ever was one. The "Ogden City gang unit" is taking down drunken bike riders. On the plus side, it gives Utah hicks something to get indignent about and talk about with all their plural wives.....
From this I assume it's OK with you if someone throws a cup of soda in your face then, or the face of your girlfriend/wife/mother/etc.?
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Old 08-10-09, 03:42 PM   #11
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Having seen the way some motorists react around being delayed at a CM..... the jury is out.
I've personally witnessed what could only be described as attempted murder by car. So based on one story ....

"The trouble started at the intersection of 23rd Street and Grant Avenue when a woman motorist stopped at a red light and was suddenly surrounded by bicyclists. When the light turned green, she was unable to pull forward and honked her horn.

Cyclists responded by yelling obscenities and someone threw a cup of soda pop and hit the woman in the face, the police report said. When she pulled forward, her vehicle bumped one of the bicycles, causing minor damage to the fender and wheel. Then she called police."

even that sounds iffy

BUT if it was a couple drunken tools then so long for them.... they get what's coming.
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Old 08-10-09, 03:54 PM   #12
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From this I assume it's OK with you if someone throws a cup of soda in your face then, or the face of your girlfriend/wife/mother/etc.?
She tried to run 'em over, not exactly innocent.

I'm laughing at this:
Quote:
Deputy Trevor Petersen pursued the individual, eventually tackling him off his bike. Petersen's actions surprised the group, which then surrounded him. He ordered them to move away and called for backup, the report said. Eventually more than six officers arrived to help disperse the irate crowd.
I bet all his cop buddies are laughing too. "Help, I'm surrounded by irate bikers!" All units rush in, sirens/lights on full, running red lights...After all, he's in the Gang Unit! Maybe it's Hell's Angels on meth. Then they get there and it's a bunch of dork bicyclists and one of them has a 12 pack of BEER! What a Barney Fife. Did he pull the freaking bullet out of his pocket after he drew his gun?
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Old 08-10-09, 04:59 PM   #13
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Critical Mass is doing to the biking community what the loud pipes crowd is doing to motorcyclists.
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Old 08-10-09, 05:55 PM   #14
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CM, frat party, sporting event, wedding party, it only takes a few sloppy and hostile drunks.
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Old 08-10-09, 05:58 PM   #15
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CM, frat party, sporting event, wedding party, it only takes a few sloppy and hostile drunks.
Except that CM is the only one that can't exist without either nutcases or booze.

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Old 08-10-09, 05:59 PM   #16
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They stopped at one signal, and a motorist got irate and assaultive because she had to wait a few seconds for the bikes to clear the intersection before she could proceed. I guess they learned their lesson, because, instead of stopping at the next signal, they filtered through it like a parade or funeral procession. At that point the cops got irate and assaultive, and knocked somebody off his bike.

I guess no matter what you do at an intersection in Utah, somebody is going to get irate and assaultive.
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Old 08-10-09, 06:02 PM   #17
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One poster here, in another thread, referred to CM as "old fashioned, in-your-face-protest. Not asking, but telling" and stuff like that. I approve, at least in those places that are truly bike-unfriendly.

But it's beginning to seem that, like some other protest movements, after an initial sincere period it has been infiltrated by anti-social misfits who really don't care very much about the principle, but are only interested in behaving like fools with the protection of other fools.

It's a shame.

Though I will admit that I don't know exactly what happened, the police version of events has more the "feel" of the truth than the bicyclists version.
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Old 08-10-09, 06:20 PM   #18
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They stopped at one signal, and a motorist got irate and assaultive because she had to wait a few seconds for the bikes to clear the intersection before she could proceed. I guess they learned their lesson, because, instead of stopping at the next signal, they filtered through it like a parade or funeral procession. At that point the cops got irate and assaultive, and knocked somebody off his bike.

I guess no matter what you do at an intersection in Utah, somebody is going to get irate and assaultive.
I have been through many intersections in Utah without ever having a problem.

But then again, I was not drunk and I was obeying the traffic laws.
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Old 08-10-09, 10:44 PM   #19
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One poster here, in another thread, referred to CM as "old fashioned, in-your-face-protest. Not asking, but telling" and stuff like that. I approve, at least in those places that are truly bike-unfriendly.

But it's beginning to seem that, like some other protest movements, after an initial sincere period it has been infiltrated by anti-social misfits who really don't care very much about the principle, but are only interested in behaving like fools with the protection of other fools.

It's a shame.

Though I will admit that I don't know exactly what happened, the police version of events has more the "feel" of the truth than the bicyclists version.
It is unfortunate--and probably inevitable--that a group like CM would run into problems like this. They have no rules, philosophy or leadership. It's incredibly easy for a few loudmouths to take over a ride, and evidently it happens sometimes. It's really too bad, because their basic message (Take the street) is quite appealing to a lot of cyclists.

But we probably should keep in mind that there are thousands of CM rides every year all over the world, but only a few erupt into mayhem.
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Old 08-11-09, 05:44 AM   #20
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But we probably should keep in mind that there are thousands of CM rides every year all over the world, but only a few erupt into mayhem.
For John Q Public, that's all it takes it.
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Old 08-11-09, 10:39 AM   #21
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Not that I am a fan of Critical Mass, but I like this part:

Quote:
The trouble started at the intersection of 23rd Street and Grant Avenue when a woman motorist stopped at a red light and was suddenly surrounded by bicyclists. When the light turned green, she was unable to pull forward and honked her horn.

Cyclists responded by yelling obscenities and someone threw a cup of soda pop and hit the woman in the face, the police report said. When she pulled forward, her vehicle bumped one of the bicycles, causing minor damage to the fender and wheel. Then she called police.

"They demanded she be arrested for aggravated assault, but it wasn't intentional," said Ogden Lt. Mike Ashment. "The woman didn't want to pursue anything."
Sure she ran into someone on a bicycle - not just "a bicycle" - with enough force to dent her fender and damage the wheel, but it wasn't intentional so it is a non-issue! It takes a bit more than a bump to dent a fender and damage a bicycle wheel.

Aside from the soda can to the face, this incident sounds ludicrous. Imagine if it were a car in front of her. The light turned green, but she was not able to pull forward - no ****, there is traffic in front of you!
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Old 08-11-09, 11:17 AM   #22
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Oh, the humanity....Sheesh, a couple of Barney Fife's if there ever was one. The "Ogden City gang unit" is taking down drunken bike riders. On the plus side, it gives Utah hicks something to get indignent about and talk about with all their plural wives.....
Have you ever been to Utah?
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Old 08-11-09, 11:19 AM   #23
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Follow-up article here.

Kevin
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Old 08-11-09, 11:47 AM   #24
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I would not be surprised if people were driving to critical mass.
People do. Cyclists also drive to races, training rides and parks to simply ride around.

Critical Mass usually has a large `transportation cyclist' aspect to it, and I'd say that a higher percentage of the participants ride their bikes to the start than do to your average race, but yes, some drive there.

I'm not sure why this is significant, however. To most participants, CM is more `pro-bike' than `anti-car'.
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Old 08-11-09, 12:02 PM   #25
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Oh, the humanity....Sheesh, a couple of Barney Fife's if there ever was one. The "Ogden City gang unit" is taking down drunken bike riders. On the plus side, it gives Utah hicks something to get indignent about and talk about with all their plural wives.....
how should i put this? oh yeah, f*&k off you bigot.
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