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Old 10-09-07, 10:26 AM   #1
JoeyMac
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A motorist just got out of his car and spit in my face...

Wow, I seem to catch all the jerks on my lunch bike ride home. There is a narrow part of the road, where it is not safe for a car to pass a bicycle (a center island with a curb on the left, and a sidewalk with a curb on the right). I had an issue in the same spot last week, and had a driver yell at me for taking the full lane. It happened again today where a car actually passed me in the narrow section of road, coming within inches of me. He of course had to stop soon after because of a car turning left, so as I passed him on the right, I said (this time without swearing or even really yelling) "More room, please." I continued on his way, and he drove past me, yelled something, I said, "I need 3 feet for safety." He pulled to a stop right up the road (in fact in front of my house), and got out. I stopped too, because I was at my house anyway. He must have thought I was ready to pick a fight with him. He was driving an Audi or something, and was wearing a golf shirt and some pressed khakis. Grade A ******bag all the way. He immediately came up to me and got in my face.
"what's the issue here?!"
"you're too close to me, I need more room if you are going to pass me,"
"YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THE ****ING ROAD!"
"if you look up the traffic law, you'll see that I have the right of way, and that you are required to yield or give me room,"
"WHAT YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?!" (he then tries to psych me out by pretending to headbutt me, or whatever you all that. I didn't flinch).
"I am a vehicle on the road, I have the same rights as you."
(he was saying something else, but around this point he decided to just spit in my face)
I was dumbfounded for a second. Did he actually just spit in my face?
"That's really mature sir."
"YEAH, YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR MOUTH BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO GET YOUR ASS KICKED!"
At this point he was walking back to his car, obviously realizing that I was not going to back down and that I was not intimidated (I am a 5'10" 200 pound viking, I don't scare easily).
"Have a nice day sir, drive carefully"
And I walked towards my house. Just as I got to my door, I realized that I should have gotten his license number, but I was still too amazed that I had just had that encounter. He had peeled out and disappeared. The whole moment lasted about 30 seconds. My heart is still beating fast from the adrenaline rush 20 minutes later. I hope he realized that the couple seconds he might have saved by passing me ended up costing him an extra minute or so by stopping to try to pick a fight with me. And I am glad that this time I was able to keep my cool and not just swear a lot like last time I had an angry motorist yell at me. Maybe next time I will actually take down a license plate number too.

Ride carefully, fellow commuters.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:33 AM   #2
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I give you props for keeping your head straight and not letting him taste your knuckles, don't know if i could do the same. It always amazes me how angry driving makes people.
I would like to see some kind of study measuring stress levels of a motorist versus a cyclist commuter.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:37 AM   #3
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I think punching him in the face could be self defense after he assaulted you by spitting on your face. You don't know what germs or diseases he might have. Too bad you didn't get the plate #.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:38 AM   #4
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I give you props for keeping your head straight and not letting him taste your knuckles, don't know if i could do the same. It always amazes me how angry driving makes people.
I would like to see some kind of study measuring stress levels of a motorist versus a cyclist commuter.
better person than I.

if someone spits on me I would not hesitate too knock him on their azz/spitting on an individual is considered an assault/bodily harm
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Old 10-09-07, 10:38 AM   #5
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I would file a police report. The language, the fake head butt, and the spitting all sound like assault to me. The spitting may actually constitute battery.

Myself, I had a run in on the way to work where a woman was mindlessly drifting right (into the bike lane) as we were approaching an intersection. Unsure if she saw me at all and unsure if she was going to go ahead and turn right (without signaling) and kill me, I smacked the left side of her car. As I caught up at the next intersection, I had already decided to let it go. She had her window down though and she...

APPOLOGIZED!
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Old 10-09-07, 10:38 AM   #6
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Yeah, that is true, spitting on someone is considered assault if i remember correctly.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:42 AM   #7
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I think him spitting in your face is assault.


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Old 10-09-07, 10:43 AM   #8
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I would file a police report. The language, the fake head butt, and the spitting all sound like assault to me. The spitting may actually constitute battery.

Myself, I had a run in on the way to work where a woman was mindlessly drifting right (into the bike lane) as we were approaching an intersection. Unsure if she saw me at all and unsure if she was going to go ahead and turn right (without signaling) and kill me, I smacked the left side of her car. As I caught up at the next intersection, I had already decided to let it go. She had her window down though and she...

APPOLOGIZED!
That is a method that i employ numerous times a week. Actually i give the motorists the benefit of the doubt in this situation because they really just do not see you. Tapping on their side panel or window is very effective. After doing this they always wave sorry and look really embarassed, and i even had one guy pull up next to me at the next stop and say "sorry, was i too close back there?".
Maybe if we start to practice these techniques instead of getting pissed we can start to get some respect.
However, if it is the motorist who starts yelling or worse assaulting you then maybe you can not be held accountable for your actions......
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Old 10-09-07, 10:45 AM   #9
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I think him spitting in your face is assault.


wll

One could argue that the assault began when he got out of the car. If not, then it's a no brainer that it began when he fake-headbutted you.

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An assault invoves:

1. An intentional, unlawful threat or "offer" to cause bodily injury to another by force;
2. Under circumstances which create in the other person a well-founded fear of imminent peril;
3. Where there exists the apparent present ability to carry out the act if not prevented.

Note that an assault can be completed even if there is no actual contact with the plaintiff, and even if the defendant had no actual ability to carry out the apparent threat. For example, a defendant who points a realistic toy gun at the plaintiff may be liable for assault, even though the defendant was fifty feet away from the plaintiff and had no actual ability to inflict harm from that distance.
The spitting, I think, would be Battery.

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A battery is the willful or intentional touching of a person against that person’s will by another person, or by an object or substance put in motion by that other person. Please note that an offensive touching can constitute a battery even if it does not cause injury, and could not reasonably be expected to cause injury. A defendant who emphatically pokes the plaintiff in the chest with his index finger to emphasize a point may be culpable for battery (although the damages award that results may well be nominal). A defendant who spits on a plaintiff, even though there is little chance that the spitting will cause any injury other than to the plaintiff's dignity, has committed a battery.
Sounds like A&B to me... too bad you didn't get a plate number.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:45 AM   #10
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You should of knocked out a few of his teeth, hung them from a string and wore them around your neck.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:46 AM   #11
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That is a method that i employ numerous times a week. Actually i give the motorists the benefit of the doubt in this situation because they really just do not see you. Tapping on their side panel or window is very effective. After doing this they always wave sorry and look really embarassed, and i even had one guy pull up next to me at the next stop and say "sorry, was i too close back there?".
Maybe if we start to practice these techniques instead of getting pissed we can start to get some respect.
However, if it is the motorist who starts yelling or worse assaulting you then maybe you can not be held accountable for your actions......
Yeah, it's a good approach. Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't do it with a little bit of... ummm... anger. I'm not feeling well this morning.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:47 AM   #12
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better person than I.

if someone spits on me I would not hesitate too knock him on their azz/spitting on an individual is considered an assault/bodily harm
Getting the license plate and collecting the spit would have been good too. He can't deny that he spit on you if you have that.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:48 AM   #13
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I read here a week ago that a police officer charged someone with assault for coughing in his face, so I think spitting counts as such too.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:54 AM   #14
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I would have been nervouse, but also would have walked onto my property to lure him to it (another charge maybe?) collected the spit and REALLY pressed the police and DA's office to pursue charges against the guy. Always get a plate #. Being that I live next to town officers I would have no problem having them pursue the matter.

If it's true that bikers as the same rights, would road rage apply here?

I feel for you, really makes for a bad week to have an a-hole like this. And he probably goes back to wife and little kids like he's a model dad/husband.

NExt time, carry your pepper spray )
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Old 10-09-07, 10:54 AM   #15
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Sorry to hear this happened to you. You are a better man than I, I don't think I could have maintained my composure if someone spit in my face. He deserved to get his @ss kicked for that.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:55 AM   #16
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Ya' know ) I watch CSI Vegas and I think you are suppose allow the police to collect the edvidence to ensure proper chian of custody. Just busting' on ya!
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Old 10-09-07, 10:55 AM   #17
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That guy would have been an azzhole anywhere, any time. I know that traffic-calming device. It's the stupidest thing I've ever seen. When they first built it, they were dragging a car a day off the damned thing.

Even so, I've never had issues in there and I frequent the café on the corner and have never seen other riders have issues there. When I ride it, I always take the lane early to protect myself and, thanks to that little descent, I'm always cranking so as to provide the least inconvenience to cagers.

Just a case of the wrong idiot in the wrong place. The encounter, BTW, was assault 3rd. The spitting was battery. Both misdemeanors with up to 90 days in county jail, although first offenders rarely draw anything but a suspended sentence.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:56 AM   #18
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WHAT?!?

Oh lordy...I don't understand people.

Perhaps you'll get the chance to get his plate number again. Commuters, both cagers and cyclists, are creatures of habit; same route, same times.

As the slower vehicle, you'll get the opportunity to "scope out" a broad cross section of the traffic. And, this guy sounds like he's one shorted fuse away from having a similar run in with you again, since you clearly didn't "learn your lesson" the first time around.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:57 AM   #19
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Cell phone camera picture of the liscence plate after that and watch him skedadle. I always try to respond to their attempts to escalate the situation with calmness, it just seems to drive them even more crazy. The best part is (from my own experience) the more enraged you become the less coherent and intelligent you become (I think it is a defense mechanism); so by not playing their game, which pushes their buttons, you cause them to become even less sensible than when they began the confrontation.

Good play. Get the police involved afterwards next time.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:58 AM   #20
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Intentionally spitting anywhere on me will definitely result in a retaliation of some sort.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:58 AM   #21
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I try to let things go, but I think I would've broken him in half.

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Old 10-09-07, 11:03 AM   #22
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One part of me admires your composure, but dang, the other wishes you'd a brought out the wrath of the rolling thunder and smited him.
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Old 10-09-07, 11:04 AM   #23
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Getting the license plate and collecting the spit would have been good too. He can't deny that he spit on you if you have that.
if you actally think about spitting is pretty childish and yes striking someone as well.

But in my mind he or the individual has already comitted an act of assault so it would seem that you are trying too protect yourself..

but your scenario is better if one can hold their temper, unfortuantely I would look at this as a immediate threat to harm me or others... and I gotta say for myself there would be more immediate satisfaction if I could take care of this my own way instead of waiting for the police , filing charges and probably having the charges dropped somewhere along the line
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Old 10-09-07, 11:05 AM   #24
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One part of me admires your composure but dang, the other wishes you'd a brought out the wrath of the rolling thunder and smited him.
I think I am going to start wearing my viking helmet and carrying my battle axe to work. Thanks to everyone for the support, and for not making me feel even more like an idiot for not getting his plate. Next time I will be ready. In way or the other.
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Old 10-09-07, 11:08 AM   #25
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