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Old 11-01-09, 01:28 AM   #1
franknstein
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Battery

So, yesterday as I was starting my ride I came to a "T" intersection with a driver sticking so far out into the road that I'd have to either stop or quickly merge into the middle of the road with traffic. I motioned to the motorist to move back so I could proceed, as he was blocking the intersection. He refused to move and so I ended up going around him behind his vehicle.

As I passed him I said "Thanks, a**hole." I kept riding but he pulled up alongside me calling me a f****t and threatening to kick my ass. I got off my bike because I seriously thought he was going to try to run me over. He pulled up next to the curb and kept calling me a f****t repeatedly and kept threatening me until I got fed up and said "OK, whatever, yeah, I may be a f*g but I'd still f**k your wife." He jumped out of his car and started wailing on me while calling me a f****t. I tried to push him off but kept losing my balance due to my cleats.

Another motorist pulled over and stopped the whole incident and called the cops. I totally expected the cops to pin it on me but they were very nice and ended up writing the dude up for battery. The motorist who called the cops told me to not let the guy get away with doing something like that and that he'd be more than willing to show up in court and testify against him.

Now, I know there's a few lawyers on this forum and I have a few questions.

First, when we go to court on this, is there any chance that the dude will actually get convicted due to what I said to him?

Second, since he kept calling me homophobic slurs, is there any way that he'd get hit with a hate crime charge? Despite me not being gay?

And finally, he slammed my head into a wall and ruined my helmet, would he have to pay for me to replace my helmet?

There's many threads on here complaining about how the police repeatedly ignore assaults against cyclists and I'm glad to say that, although I've had a few of those run-ins before, this particular incident was handled very well by the LA County Sheriff's Dept.
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Old 11-01-09, 02:20 AM   #2
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Road Rage on HIS part. Sounds like you're in the possition of strength. The Police rose to the occassion and I think all things considered, you're handling (handled) all this in a rational way. Way calmer than I would've, I would in the hospital or he he would, (probably the latter given my track record).. Nothing more than a Post Bump..
Good Luck and I'm glad you're "OK"
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Old 11-01-09, 02:29 AM   #3
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I came here expecting a thread about something like battery problems for bicycle lights. D: What an exciting story to read, though. Man, I hope the other guy gets what he deserves.
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Old 11-01-09, 03:07 AM   #4
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May as well add : simply to speak to one aspect; at worst you could be accused of verbal assault. HE assault and battery which trumps all. The hate crime aspect, perhaps
... It'll weigh in as far as "in the minds of" if not as a matter of record.
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Old 11-01-09, 03:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franknstein View Post
So, yesterday as I was starting my ride I came to a "T" intersection with a driver sticking so far out into the road that I'd have to either stop or quickly merge into the middle of the road with traffic.
And just think ... if you would have stopped or merged with the traffic, you would have saved yourself a whole lot of grief. Maybe next time.
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Old 11-01-09, 05:34 AM   #6
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Need to have something to bolster yourself, since you have a cleat/standing up issue; old seatposts have heavy heads on them. But just because of the standing up issue, I'd consider SPDs and mountain bike shoes.

Pursue charges -- then pursue a better position of self-defense out there.

Point to ponder: what is it about bike riding that seems to set off all these deep-rooted insecurities and homophobic tendencies in people? Why do they think you have to exchange your masculinity for a bike? Does being a lazy fat-a$$ behind the wheel of a car, flouting every traffic law you feel you can get away with, make someone a MAN? I'd really like to explore that whole neurosis.

Maybe that'll be a thread.....
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Old 11-01-09, 05:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by franknstein View Post
First, when we go to court on this, is there any chance that the dude will actually get convicted due to what I said to him?

Second, since he kept calling me homophobic slurs, is there any way that he'd get hit with a hate crime charge? Despite me not being gay?

And finally, he slammed my head into a wall and ruined my helmet, would he have to pay for me to replace my helmet?
1. Yes, he is likely to be convicted. Actually, he is likely to plea bargain, because that's how most cases are resolved. A person can be convicted based on a single witness' testimony, and it sounds like you have at least one or two others who will back up your story. Also, it is not legal to attack someone because they called you a bad name.

2. Hate crime laws usually apply to felonies, and this guy is charged with a misdemeanor. It might be different where you live.

3. If he is convicted, the judge certainly will order restitution for your helmet. Whether and when the guy will pay it is another question. Save the receipt when you buy a new one to show the judge how much you spent.
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Old 11-01-09, 05:47 AM   #8
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In addition to pressing criminal charges I also suggest getting an attorney and suing him.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:22 AM   #9
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You started the issue by opening your mouth. That doesn't mean you should be assaulted but I feel you started the whole problem. When you call someone a nasty name expect to get kicked in the mouth.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:25 AM   #10
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You started the issue by opening your mouth. That doesn't mean you should be assaulted but I feel you started the whole problem. When you call someone a nasty name expect to get kicked in the mouth.
Same here. If I were on a jury, you would have been determined to have Started the whole thing.

You would be wise to delete your original post. It can be used against you.
But then any rider who calls a driver of a 4,000 lb vehicle an a-hole is not wise.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:38 AM   #11
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franknstein: I just went back and reread your whole story again. Now I'm wondering why any person would come on a forum and admit to such foolish action. The only thing more startling to me is that you have, and will have, more supporters on this thread for such boorish behavior.

I mean bringing the guy's wife into it? How old are you? Fifteen?
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Old 11-01-09, 07:28 AM   #12
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Old TOwn: Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, to paraphrase the Chappell Show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
Point to ponder: what is it about bike riding that seems to set off all these deep-rooted insecurities and homophobic tendencies in people? Why do they think you have to exchange your masculinity for a bike? Does being a lazy fat-a$$ behind the wheel of a car, flouting every traffic law you feel you can get away with, make someone a MAN? I'd really like to explore that whole neurosis.
Easy: The motorist caught himself ogling franknstein's a**. So obviously franknstein is a f** since it's his fault the motorist was looking. I believe it's called projection.

p.s. I firmly believe the only people who use "f**" or "gay" as a mortal insult are those deathly afraid of that part of themselves.
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Old 11-01-09, 08:16 AM   #13
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1. Yes, he is likely to be convicted. Actually, he is likely to plea bargain, because that's how most cases are resolved. A person can be convicted based on a single witness' testimony, and it sounds like you have at least one or two others who will back up your story. Also, it is not legal to attack someone because they called you a bad name.

2. Hate crime laws usually apply to felonies, and this guy is charged with a misdemeanor. It might be different where you live.

3. If he is convicted, the judge certainly will order restitution for your helmet. Whether and when the guy will pay it is another question. Save the receipt when you buy a new one to show the judge how much you spent.
Nice analysis.

Remember though the matter of compensation for the bike helmet is a civil matter and not a criminal matter. I think that there is no dispute that the driver caused the damage to the helmet. So he is liable for restitution. Getting restitution could be done by providing information to the driver for the cost of replacement. If the driver fails to pay up, he could be taken to small claims court. Small claims court is a bit of a hassle. But it is easy to file and the people at the court will help. I have done it once. It can be fun to drag someone in and make them pay up what is due you. Also, since this guy is clearly liable for the helmet, he is responsible for the court costs too. Now, that is how Florida works. I don't know if all states are the same way but I bet they are.
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Old 11-01-09, 08:17 AM   #14
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And just think ... if you would have stopped or merged with the traffic, you would have saved yourself a whole lot of grief. Maybe next time.
There you go! Blame the victim.

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Originally Posted by Old Town View Post
You started the issue by opening your mouth. That doesn't mean you should be assaulted but I feel you started the whole problem. When you call someone a nasty name expect to get kicked in the mouth.
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Same here. If I were on a jury, you would have been determined to have Started the whole thing.
As much as mouthing-off is not a good thing, responding to that by beating people is far, far worse (and illegal). Do you think it's likely that the driver is able to control his mouth (considering he can't control his fists)?

Last edited by njkayaker; 11-01-09 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 11-01-09, 09:52 AM   #15
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Was the "Thanks, *******" really necessary? Seems like you were just begging for a fight. Every opportunity you had to diffuse the situation, you raised the stakes.

Yeah, the guy was a raging A-hole and he might be convicted as such, but instead of ignoring the initial annoyance and going on with your life, now you have injuries, a busted helmet and the wasted time of a court date. And you're not even a martyr to the cause.
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Old 11-01-09, 10:27 AM   #16
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I probably should not have said what I said to him, yes. I have posted it on a public forum because it's in the statement that I gave to the police. I didn't lie to them to make myself look better. I told the officer everything I said and did and he wrote it down.

The dude was being an idiot before I called him an *******. I could have stopped and then he would have said something to me anyway for asking him to move back. I could not have merged into traffic because I would have been hit by a car.

Now, onto the other part, being called a homophobic slur is fine with me, I can deal with it. I don't really care if I make idiots insecure about their sexuality when I'm wearing bibs and a jersey. The problem was that he must have called me that at least 25 times in the span of 5 or so minutes. He kept threatening me to kick my ass because I was a "f****t," and I got tired of him hurling that at me. Would it have been any different if they were racial slurs instead of homophobic ones?

Anyway, I should have kept my mouth shut but I didn't. Does that mean that the dude had the right to shoot me if he'd wanted to?

Cydisc, yes, that's what I regret. I regret the fact that I have a busted helmet and can't ride for a week or so until I have enough money to buy another one. I regret the fact that I have to go through the pain in the ass that is the LA County court system.
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Old 11-01-09, 10:39 AM   #17
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I probably should not have said what I said to him, yes. I have posted it on a public forum because it's in the statement that I gave to the police. I didn't lie to them to make myself look better. I told the officer everything I said and did and he wrote it down.

The dude was being an idiot before I called him an *******. I could have stopped and then he would have said something to me anyway for asking him to move back. I could not have merged into traffic because I would have been hit by a car.

Now, onto the other part, being called a homophobic slur is fine with me, I can deal with it. I don't really care if I make idiots insecure about their sexuality when I'm wearing bibs and a jersey. The problem was that he must have called me that at least 25 times in the span of 5 or so minutes. He kept threatening me to kick my ass because I was a "f****t," and I got tired of him hurling that at me. Would it have been any different if they were racial slurs instead of homophobic ones?

Anyway, I should have kept my mouth shut but I didn't. Does that mean that the dude had the right to shoot me if he'd wanted to?

Cydisc, yes, that's what I regret. I regret the fact that I have a busted helmet and can't ride for a week or so until I have enough money to buy another one. I regret the fact that I have to go through the pain in the ass that is the LA County court system.
Hey, pal: He didn't shoot you and you can still ride "for a week" without a helmet. Stop playing the victim. You were the catalyst in this foolish drama. (I still can't believe a kid would do what you did and come on a public forum to admit it. Wow!)
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Old 11-01-09, 10:49 AM   #18
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I still can't believe a kid would do what you did and come on a public forum to admit it. Wow!

I have posted it on a public forum because it's in the statement that I gave to the police. I didn't lie to them to make myself look better. I told the officer everything I said and did and he wrote it down.


Christ! So we disagree on everything else but this shouldn't be that hard to grasp.
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Old 11-01-09, 11:21 AM   #19
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I have posted it on a public forum because it's in the statement that I gave to the police. I didn't lie to them to make myself look better. I told the officer everything I said and did and he wrote it down.


Christ! So we disagree on everything else but this shouldn't be that hard to grasp.
If I sodomized a goat and told that to the cops, I sure as hell would not go telling the world on the internet. Some things you keep to yourself, kid.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:26 PM   #20
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Same here. If I were on a jury, you would have been determined to have Started the whole thing.

You would be wise to delete your original post. It can be used against you.
But then any rider who calls a driver of a 4,000 lb vehicle an a-hole is not wise.
Deleting the post will only remove it from public view. It will still be in BF's archives, and as such can still be Subpoenaed to be used for evidence.
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Old 11-01-09, 01:28 PM   #21
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Well, as far as everyone scolding you for 'starting' things by swearing at the car...

I dont think anyone can throw stones, because I havent met a cyclist yet that hasnt at some point, swore at a driver being a jerk.
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Old 11-01-09, 02:31 PM   #22
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It's going to feel good when the judge busts this guy, even on a plea bargain.

Thanks from all us cyclists to the witness ... and the deputy.
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Old 11-01-09, 02:42 PM   #23
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I have posted it on a public forum because it's in the statement that I gave to the police. I didn't lie to them to make myself look better. I told the officer everything I said and did and he wrote it down.

Christ! So we disagree on everything else but this shouldn't be that hard to grasp.

Franknstein, don't listen to the naysayers and don't back down on this case ...

Remember, the motorist assaulted you and damaged your personal property. Follow through on the case and teach him a lesson.
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Old 11-01-09, 03:14 PM   #24
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Franknstein, don't listen to the naysayers and don't back down on this case ...

Remember, the motorist assaulted you and damaged your personal property. Follow through on the case and teach him a lesson.
Frank, I hope you lose your shirt.
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Old 11-01-09, 03:18 PM   #25
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The cyclist stands up to a JAM/Bully and so many here jump on his case. The JAM/Bully instigated the situation by illegally blocking the path, the cyclist politely ask the JAM/Bully to move back to a legal position (something many motorist would have done without even being asked, once they realized they were blocking the path). The JAM/Bully escalates by refusing to move. The cyclist does the smart thing by not putting himself in front of the JAM/Bully. So what if the cyclist called the JAM/Bully an ahole, that is what the guy is (I would have called the guy a b**ch instead, just because it would piss him off even more). The cyclist just keeps riding and the JAM/Bully escalates by pulling alongside and committing verbal assault/threats of bodily harm. The cyclist never threatens harm, never commits verbal assault, but the JAM/Bully again escalates it to battery.

Another motorist sees the entire incident, stands by the cyclist and is willing to "waste all that time in court" to set the JAM/Bully Road Rager straight; but other cyclist here blame the OP for standing up to the fool. OP, thanks to you, this guy may be set straight (or at least less bent) and save someone from far worse injury from this guy.

As to restitution, it can occur in criminal court as part of a plea agreement or stipulation of parol, without the need for a civil case. Of course, if JAM/Bully decides to a plea agreement and/or just plead no contest, it would be smart of him to just pay up before the judge gets to decide JAM/Bullies fate.

OP, why is it a waste of time going to court. JAM/Bully is the one who will really be hating it. You and the good motorist are just witnesses. Most courts cover travel mileage and a small amount of pay each time you go to court under subpoena. By the time JAM/Bully delays proceedings a few times (hoping you and the other witness will not show up the next time) and if you ride your bike each time, you should end up with enough extra money to buy a second, really nice helmet. The case may be settled in part of a day, or you may have to go back to court five or so days (sometimes separated by a month or so).

If none of us stand up for our rights, then none of us have any rights. OP, today and in the court was/is your turn to stand up for all of us (including those too fearful or misguided to do so). You and the motorist have done well so far.

PS "less bent" in no way is a reference to recumbent riders (so chill out guys, I sometimes ride a bent as well).
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