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Old 11-17-09, 03:32 PM   #1
mattotoole
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Cyclist victim in LA road rage case seeks letters to DA

This was posted in another forum but it's worth re-posting here, where there's a lot more traffic.

Patrick Watson, one of the cyclists victimized by Dr. Thompson in the now-famous LA road rage case, is asking cyclists to write to the DA (Mary Stone, mstone@da.lacounty.gov) in support of strong sentencing. You should especially write if you are a resident of LA County, and a constituent. But this case is of national importance, so all letters are encouraged.

Mr. Watson writes:

"As some of you have no doubt heard, the jury has reached a verdict in the Thompson case. The jury found the defendant guilty on all seven counts charged:

- Count 1: Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 2: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 3: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Christian Stoehr)
- Count 4: Reckless Driving (victims: Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby)
- Count 5: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Ron Peterson)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 6: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Christian Stoehr)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 7: Mayhem

If you are unaware of this case and the verdict I copied some links below for you to review.

The range for the defendant is anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison and the District Attorney is anticipating that the defense will submit a boatload of letters to the judge and/or the probation department on his client's behalf. Please, if anyone from the community who has views on the sentencing you are also allowed to write the judge and/or probation officer.

As the defense will probably argue that no one else's opinion is relevant to this defendant, the District Attorney will indicate that we are offering letters toward the issue of general deterrence, in other words, simply because the defendant was in his car does not change the blunt nature of the unmitigated assault on the cyclists and that drivers everywhere must become aware that they have to share the road. To that end, anyone who would like to contribute a letter or an e-mail may send it to the District Attorney's office (below) or to the District Attorney herself, her e-mail address is also below. She will package all the letters and e-mails for us and submit them with her motion so the judge gets them all at once instead of a slow trickle. She plans to file the motion at the end of next week [Friday, November 20, Ed.] so it would be great if she had the letters/e-mails by then. And, yes, the more, the better.

Please address your letters appropriately, like we were able to touch on in court, which is that cyclists are not some alien breed of monsters that are claiming the streets, but regular people, fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, police officers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers.... So, if anyone is writing a letter, it would be nice if you could begin with an identifying fact such as what your occupation is and that you are a motorist and a cyclist. I truly appreciate everyone's commitment to this request and I hope you all feel the same as I do in making sure the defendant serves his appropriate time in prison for all 7 counts the jury found him guilty on and not just a slap on the wrist and probation. Please make your voice heard as I spent a great deal of my own personal time throughout this entire process and because I'm passionate about trying to make our community a better place to ride our bikes. Also, please forward on to your cycling community and make your voice heard throughout your area. This has resulted in National attention and the more letters from across the country the louder our voice will be heard."

For background on the case, Patrick also posted some links in another forum.

Write to DA Mary Stone here:

mstone@da.lacounty.gov

Or,

District Attorney's Office
Attn. Mary Stone
11701 S. LaCienega
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Please spread the word!
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Old 11-17-09, 04:42 PM   #2
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I just e-mailed the DA in this link; maybe it might do .0001% good.
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Old 11-19-09, 01:07 PM   #3
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http://la.streetsblog.org/2009/11/19...c-behind-bars/

This blog has some tips on some things to include in your letter and the author's own letter.
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Old 11-20-09, 10:49 AM   #4
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Here's mine:

My name is XXX XXX. I am a former resident of Long Beach, CA and Whittier, CA. I currently live in Irvine, CA. I moved here to be closer to my job which allows me to commute to work by bicycle.

I am married with an 18-month old daughter. I am a law abiding citizen and follow the rules of the California Vehicle code both when I am driving and when I am cycling. I am a proponent for a safe bicycling environment. I feel that more people would take to the streets if they perceived them as safe for bicyclists. In general the streets are very safe for bikes, however, sometimes I come across drivers who could very well cross into the type of behavior that Dr. Thompson exhibited in this road rage incident.

There is lots of media attention on this case and there is a great opportunity to send the message that violence towards bicyclists will not go unpunished. By urging a strong sentence (and actually winning a strong sentence) against Dr. Thompson, a shift in the correct direction would be made towards showing the non-biking public that the streets are becoming safer. Hopefully this will spur greater numbers of people to join us bicycle commuters on the streets. We need more of this to wean the American Public from foreign oil and to combat global warming.

Please do everything you can to ensure Dr. Thompson receives the strongest sentence that he deserves.

Best Wishes,
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