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  1. #1
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    consequences of assault?

    Hey, today i was ridding when i was struck with a full can of soda. i managed to catch up and get the perps license plate. I called 911 and was told to file a report tomorrow. The only thing that i want to come from this is the driver to get a lecture from an official so perhaps he won't do it again. What do you guys think the chance of this happening is?

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    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    I don't know where you are. Here the Mounties seem to take this pretty seriously and I'd say the chance of hit getting at least a talking to is 100%. I'm pretty sure you could easily have him charged.

    In the fall I was just lightly brushed by a mirror. I felt the guy did it on purpose - there was a completely empty lane beside him and I was riding far right - so I grabbed his plate and called the cops. Within an hour I had a very nice lady Mountie call me back and tell me she was sitting in her car outside the guy's place of work, behind the truck in question. She asked me if I wanted to have him charged, since technically it's illegal to collide with another vehicle and not stop. Even after I explained that he only brushed me, and did no damage. So I said yea okay that seems fair. He never contested it, and paid his fine.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honey locust View Post
    Hey, today i was ridding when i was struck with a full can of soda. i managed to catch up and get the perps license plate. I called 911 and was told to file a report tomorrow. The only thing that i want to come from this is the driver to get a lecture from an official so perhaps he won't do it again. What do you guys think the chance of this happening is?
    In my locale, it'll go much further than a lecture from the LEO's.

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    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    How do you know he's never done it before? Think about it--do you think that you're the first cyclist he ever threw something at? I don't. Asshats like this don't change, and a "lecture" from someone in uniform, or even wearing a black robe, without any other consequences, reinforces the idea that no one takes it seriously in their minds.

    Filing charges, on the other hand, takes the matter out of your hands, at least in part. Unless you're in a small town, where everyone knows everyone, a cop isn't likely to just give a guy a "talking to" if you file a report. They'll go out and either arrest him or issue him a court summons. If a complaint is issued and the guy has to go to court, you're not longer the one bringing charges. It's the prosecuting agency in your state, and while they will listen to you, it's not automatic that they'll let you drop the charges in return for a "lecture" from the judge. I agree that it's unlikely he'll go to jail unless he has a record from here to the door. He may even keep his record clean, or at least avoid a felony conviction, assuming that assault or A&B with a dangerous weapon is a felony where you live. But IMO you owe it to both yourself and other riders to file the report and let the chips fall where they may.

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    In my town, the only chance you have of anything being done in a situation like that is to contact the Mayor; he's a cycling advocate, and would likely make some noise -- after diplomatically telling you he can't do anything directly, and to contact the PD.

    Calling the po-po here is strictly hit-and-miss when it comes to cycling issues. If you're able to call and complain, you survived and don't need them.

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    The thing about the situation that angered me most was that when I caught up with them I knocked on their window and they looked strait forward and didn't move a muscle, I'm not an intimidating guy either . In my opinion there is no greater definition of a coward than that. When you can go 40 mph faster that someone your the toughest guy in the world, but when your both side by side you look scared out of your mind. People wonder why i'm a misanthropist.

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    I encourage you to pursue it. However, where I live the police won't even take a report of an assault on a cyclists. (Yes, I do know this from experience.) We're like the blacks in the south prior to the Civil Rights movement. It's legal to harass, maim and kill us. It's illegal for us to try to do anything about it. Maybe someday this too shall change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHen View Post
    I encourage you to pursue it. However, where I live the police won't even take a report of an assault on a cyclists. (Yes, I do know this from experience.) We're like the blacks in the south prior to the Civil Rights movement. It's legal to harass, maim and kill us. It's illegal for us to try to do anything about it. Maybe someday this too shall change.
    Good Analogy, where abouts do you live? Sounds like a horrible place.

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    I would press charges and expect to get a conviction.

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    Senior Member Franky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
    I would press charges and expect to get a conviction.
    +1...unless there is more to the story

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    Senior Member WPeabody's Avatar
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    If one lives in a place where they don't respect cyclists then it's highly likely they don't respect much else.
    What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky View Post
    +1...unless there is more to the story
    I checked my back, there was no sign that said "chuck things at me"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honey locust View Post
    Hey, today i was ridding when i was struck with a full can of soda. i managed to catch up and get the perps license plate. I called 911 and was told to file a report tomorrow. The only thing that i want to come from this is the driver to get a lecture from an official so perhaps he won't do it again. What do you guys think the chance of this happening is?
    Think about this:

    1) Do you really think that this is the first time they've targeted someone riding a bike or even maybe "daring" to walk along the road?
    2) Do you really think that they got "lucky" when they hit you, or hit your from the point of experience?

    File the report, don't let the "perps" off with just a warning, if they threw a can of soda (I'm guessing that it was still closed and that's how you knew that it was full) they have probably thrown cans or other missiles at other cyclists and/or pedestrians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    I don't know where you are. Here the Mounties seem to take this pretty seriously and I'd say the chance of hit getting at least a talking to is 100%. I'm pretty sure you could easily have him charged.

    In the fall I was just lightly brushed by a mirror. I felt the guy did it on purpose - there was a completely empty lane beside him and I was riding far right - so I grabbed his plate and called the cops. Within an hour I had a very nice lady Mountie call me back and tell me she was sitting in her car outside the guy's place of work, behind the truck in question. She asked me if I wanted to have him charged, since technically it's illegal to collide with another vehicle and not stop. Even after I explained that he only brushed me, and did no damage. So I said yea okay that seems fair. He never contested it, and paid his fine.
    That's good, glad to hear that things resolved favorably. What was the fine?

    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    How do you know he's never done it before? Think about it--do you think that you're the first cyclist he ever threw something at? I don't. Asshats like this don't change, and a "lecture" from someone in uniform, or even wearing a black robe, without any other consequences, reinforces the idea that no one takes it seriously in their minds.

    Filing charges, on the other hand, takes the matter out of your hands, at least in part. Unless you're in a small town, where everyone knows everyone, a cop isn't likely to just give a guy a "talking to" if you file a report. They'll go out and either arrest him or issue him a court summons. If a complaint is issued and the guy has to go to court, you're not longer the one bringing charges. It's the prosecuting agency in your state, and while they will listen to you, it's not automatic that they'll let you drop the charges in return for a "lecture" from the judge. I agree that it's unlikely he'll go to jail unless he has a record from here to the door. He may even keep his record clean, or at least avoid a felony conviction, assuming that assault or A&B with a dangerous weapon is a felony where you live. But IMO you owe it to both yourself and other riders to file the report and let the chips fall where they may.
    Agreed, it's likely that this wasn't either the first time or a onetime deal. Hitting a moving target from a moving object isn't (despite what the movies make it seem) is as easy as the movies make it look.

    It would be nice if law enforcement AND the courts in ALL jurisdictions took these kinds of things as seriously as they need to be taken. Bicycles and pedestrians are NOT "targets" for throwing soda cans, beer cans/bottles, cups of soda, or eggs, or whatever other "missile" some "ignorant, braindead, redneck" currently has at their disposal.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by honey locust View Post
    Good Analogy, where abouts do you live? Sounds like a horrible place.
    I'm currently spending most of my time in and around Eugene, OR. I really love it when I get back to more civilized communities like the Bay Area. Lucky me, I will be in the East Bay for most of the Spring, but then it's back to Eugene.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
    I would press charges and expect to get a conviction.

    You need a corroborating witness, evidence, or admission of guilt otherwise it's your word against theirs and there's no way to get a conviction.

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    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    You need a corroborating witness, evidence, or admission of guilt otherwise it's your word against theirs and there's no way to get a conviction.
    Definitely not true. It may make a conviction less likely, but there is no place where I've ever practiced where the testimony of a single witness/complainant needs to be corroborated by any of the above. The only thing that's required is that a fact finder (judge or jury) believe the complainant's testimony beyond a reasonable doubt. Juries convict defendants often, in these types of his word/my cases.

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    File a police report for assault.

    Minimum, cops show up at perp's residence asking questions and intimidates the heck out of them. Driver may give passenger who tossed the can at you a beat down on their own. If underage, parents will not appreciate cops showing up at their place based on actions of minor and give them a stern talking to/beat on them.

    Since you got a plate number and vehicle description, worth going through the process.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    File a police report for assault.

    Minimum, cops show up at perp's residence asking questions and intimidates the heck out of them. Driver may give passenger who tossed the can at you a beat down on their own. If underage, parents will not appreciate cops showing up at their place based on actions of minor and give them a stern talking to/beat on them.

    Since you got a plate number and vehicle description, worth going through the process.
    Bolding mine.

    Very good point. A huge percentage of this kind of thing is stupid kids. Often resolved once it is brought to light.

    On hte police part, I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles. That works out so that it could fall under LAPD, County Sheriffs or CHP. CHP will take it seriously. LAPD likely varies by Division, West Valley (where I live) will take it seriously. I don't know about the Sheriffs.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  19. #19
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    The fine for littering can be quite high in some places...

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    If you don't call there are no consequences. Next time it could be very serious for someone, if not you. You can put a stop to it now.

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    I filed a police report today, police officer seemed moderately receptive. I've realized that this is bigger than me, its for all the bicyclist in my community. Plus how often is it that you are able to catch up to a car on a road with a 50 mph speed limit? It would be a waste of luck to not report it. I'll keep you guys updated.

  22. #22
    Senior Member KypD's Avatar
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    I'm glad you reported it. I've been lucky, but friends of mine have not. Every one of my cyclist friends has had some sort of horrible incident or another, with one being ran completely off the road on purpose.

    Luckily the community here in Orlando seems pretty receptive to situations like that...a few witnesses in cars immediately sped up and boxed the guy in until the police arrived.

    Hopefully your situation is resolved favorably!

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    something like this should be treated very seriously. Just because the idiot doesn't know the potential consequences doesn't really mitigate the fact that thrown objects have resulted in cyclists and pedestrians with fractured skulls or worse. It's a felony in most states for a very good reason

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    Definitely not true. It may make a conviction less likely, but there is no place where I've ever practiced where the testimony of a single witness/complainant needs to be corroborated by any of the above. The only thing that's required is that a fact finder (judge or jury) believe the complainant's testimony beyond a reasonable doubt. Juries convict defendants often, in these types of his word/my cases.
    Agree, but there was no documented injury, no damages, no evidence, and no witnesses. Will that be brought in front of a judge? Certainly file a complaint and hopefully the cops will talk to the pinhead.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by honey locust View Post
    Hey, today i was ridding when i was struck with a full can of soda. i managed to catch up and get the perps license plate. I called 911 and was told to file a report tomorrow. The only thing that i want to come from this is the driver to get a lecture from an official so perhaps he won't do it again. What do you guys think the chance of this happening is?
    Most of the time, I've had pretty good luck reporting similar events.

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