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Old 11-25-09, 04:11 PM   #1
cgallagh
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4 months for shooting at cyclist

From Ashville Citizen-Times.com, http://tinyurl.com/yfgxdlq

Fireman decides a man with his child and wife, riding bikes on a public road, is endangering his child and tells him so. Man on bike disagrees. Argument ensues. Fireman shoots and hits cyclist in the helmet saying "it was supposed to be a warning shot". Judge doesn't accept defense. Interesting to read the comments. They are the same as the ones where the tandem couple were run down in Texas. Hateraid drinkers think the cyclist deserved it.
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Old 11-25-09, 04:27 PM   #2
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Disgusting.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I've never heard of a Firefighter carrying a gun.

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Old 11-25-09, 04:32 PM   #3
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I am sure at that close range he could have killed or severely maimed him if he wanted to - particularly with the skill he surely acquired in the military. What I think was lacking in his sentence was the mental treatment they guy surely needs for anger management. The real punishment is that he will most likely never work as a fire fighter, cop or civil servant again, he will be lucky to get a job at Walmart after he serves his time.

There is absolutely no excuse for what occured but putting looking at teh grand picture - the offender will suffer for a long time and the cyclist will live on with no or little harm done.

One last point - I bet the cyclist must surely have taken the self righteous attitude we all have described here to have provoked this kind of reaction - proving that in this country with all the gun toteing idiots one should work hard at avoiding confrontation. I know some folks here would have reached in thier handy dandy gun tote and shot the ba$t@rd dead on the spot - but they would probably be sitting in a jail cell about now.

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Old 11-25-09, 05:01 PM   #4
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Read not only the story, but the comments on the writer's blog that follow. Then be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID...
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Old 11-25-09, 05:25 PM   #5
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Read not only the story, but the comments on the writer's blog that follow. Then be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID...
Firefighters and cops are "Heroes" who get big breaks from the criminal justice system when they commit aggravated crimes.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:35 PM   #6
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I was appalled at a recent sentencing here in Wisconsin that didn't involve a bicycle. Two people were out on a walk. A driver with a suspended license (from a DWI) had been drinking vodka and decided to go out driving again. He hits one of the walkers, fatally injuring him. He drives away without stopping. The pedestrian is close to his home, his mother runs to him, and he dies in her arms.

So they nail him on driving on a suspended license, driving while intoxicated, some kind of manslaughter charge, and hit & run.

He got the maximum sentence ... 3 years. I couldn't believe the max for all of this was only 3 years.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:39 PM   #7
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He did shout a fair warning before he attempted to slaughter the guy and his kid.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:44 PM   #8
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Disgusting.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I've never heard of a Firefighter carrying a gun.
You obviously have not read much news regarding Cleveland firemen committing felonys with guns.
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Old 11-25-09, 09:57 PM   #9
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You obviously have not read much news regarding Cleveland firemen committing felonys with guns.
I don't usually read the Plain Dealer; if it was in the Akron Beacon Journal I must have missed it. And TV news is hit and miss for me. I lead a pretty sequestered life these days.
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Old 11-25-09, 09:59 PM   #10
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You don't really know how it feels until someone threatens to kill you. This happened to me over a logging company trying to cut a road through private property with no permission. I was on a cell call with my wife when this happened and she heard the entire thing. It only took the police 27 min to get out of the C-store to show up for the 911 call.

Even with the call as proof it happened the cops refused to file charges. The logging guy was their buddie and they said he was just trying to make a living even though he had been charged several times for stealing lumber off property with no rights to cut the trees.
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Old 11-25-09, 10:04 PM   #11
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I liked the end bit:

"Contrast all this with the sentence an LSD peddler got Friday from Judge Alan Thornburg: a minimum of 175 months in prison, or more than 14 years. That guy, Benjamin Thomas Schaeffer, had more than 6,000 hits of the hallucinogenic drug in his possession outside an Asheville concert in 2006."

Well of course this guy would get 175 months in prison - coz the authorities couldn't get any tax revenue from dealing with cash-in-hand narcotics.
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Old 11-26-09, 01:25 AM   #12
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I am sure at that close range he could have killed or severely maimed him if he wanted to - particularly with the skill he surely acquired in the military. What I think was lacking in his sentence was the mental treatment they guy surely needs for anger management. The real punishment is that he will most likely never work as a fire fighter, cop or civil servant again, he will be lucky to get a job at Walmart after he serves his time.

There is absolutely no excuse for what occured but putting looking at teh grand picture - the offender will suffer for a long time and the cyclist will live on with no or little harm done.

One last point - I bet the cyclist must surely have taken the self righteous attitude we all have described here to have provoked this kind of reaction - proving that in this country with all the gun toteing idiots one should work hard at avoiding confrontation. I know some folks here would have reached in thier handy dandy gun tote and shot the ba$t@rd dead on the spot - but they would probably be sitting in a jail cell about now.

Apparently the real victim here is the fireman (we call them "public safety officers" around here) who will suffer job-related consequences for having come within inches of killing a man in front of his son. Admittedly, the cyclist was annoyingly self-righteous and therefore deserved a lesson from an trained marksman whose wrinkled t-shirt was obviously just cause for a warning head shot. Isn't it kind of like saying the **** "victim" was being taught a lesson for wearing her skirt above her knees...and, anyway, the ****** is good looking and had some hot moves? And then, the poor ****** is given 4 months and can't get a decent date for a long while. A little harsh but we gotta draw a line.

Maybe it's all those gun-packin', slap on the back, good ol' boys a fella just can't stay mad at.....maybe those boys need a message stronger than 4 months/no job.

Say, I wonder if that judge was a pistol packer himself?

Last edited by '47; 11-26-09 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 11-26-09, 01:51 PM   #13
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Human stupidity knows no boundaries.Trust no one.Sad but true.
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Old 11-26-09, 02:36 PM   #14
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Ahhh....the house is filling with turkey smell and my two grown kids are pleasantly arguing in a way reminsicent of years ago. Sweet! What's not so sweet is this thread of bullying and, not too strong a word, aggression against cyclists. Like so many of us, I've been hit by thrown eggs and garbage and had near misses by cars, mirror extensions, paid-by-the-trip speeding logging trucks, etc....most of them from inattention or indifference, some obviously on purpose. I'm thankful for safety over my years on two wheels. Two years ago a fellow bike club member was killed when struck from behind by a drug-freaked kid-- who also got a "light" sentence-- all made more personal because my son was friends with the victim's son.

Anyway, much to be thankful for and some things to be understandably angered by this T-day........this mixed-bag world continues to turn. Meantime, the house is warm and welcoming. Good wishes for all of us.
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Old 11-26-09, 02:59 PM   #15
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Street brawls often end very poorly.
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Old 11-26-09, 05:28 PM   #16
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I am sure at that close range he could have killed or severely maimed him if he wanted to - particularly with the skill he surely acquired in the military. What I think was lacking in his sentence was the mental treatment they guy surely needs for anger management. The real punishment is that he will most likely never work as a fire fighter, cop or civil servant again, he will be lucky to get a job at Walmart after he serves his time.

There is absolutely no excuse for what occured but putting looking at teh grand picture - the offender will suffer for a long time and the cyclist will live on with no or little harm done.

One last point - I bet the cyclist must surely have taken the self righteous attitude we all have described here to have provoked this kind of reaction - proving that in this country with all the gun toteing idiots one should work hard at avoiding confrontation. I know some folks here would have reached in thier handy dandy gun tote and shot the ba$t@rd dead on the spot - but they would probably be sitting in a jail cell about now.

I've been rather sad for a while that so many on this and numerous other cycling sites take a self-righteous attitude (far less here at the codger's table, I must say). I do think the fireman got off way too lightly in terms of legal action, since this seems from 1000 miles away that it may have been attempted manslaughter and certainly an ill-considered act of anger, but as the guy in the other smaller vehicle, I don't want to drive any loony to that point if I can help it. Not so much turning the other cheek, just preserving my butt and other body parts.
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Old 11-26-09, 06:29 PM   #17
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I've been rather sad for a while that so many on this and numerous other cycling sites take a self-righteous attitude (far less here at the codger's table, I must say). I do think the fireman got off way too lightly in terms of legal action, since this seems from 1000 miles away that it may have been attempted manslaughter and certainly an ill-considered act of anger, but as the guy in the other smaller vehicle, I don't want to drive any loony to that point if I can help it. Not so much turning the other cheek, just preserving my butt and other body parts.
Me too and I must confess I almost stop participating last summer when we had the gun tote'n threads. I can't say what the right sentence was - I was not on scene and not at the trial, only have the article to go by and we all should know by now that the media has less to do with reporting fact and more to do with sensationalism. I will say again - if part of his sentence did not include counseling then it was indeed incorrect.



It's not about turning the other cheek, it's about tolerence. Road rage is a horrible emotional act - and this sounded more like road rage to me. Once a person looses themselves to this state of mind all reason goes out the window. This is much to complicated an issue to cover here but I am glad that there are others that see there is a better coarse to follow.
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Old 11-27-09, 12:24 PM   #18
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I remember many years ago when the LA (I think it was LA) police were being slammed for being involved in crimes a local comedian went on TV with the following joke:
911 Phone caller: Please send help, someone is robbing my house.
911 Response: We'll send someone right away, until then, see if you can get his badge number.
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Old 11-28-09, 05:28 PM   #19
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Bicyclists seem to be fair game all over the country . . .
2 months ago, 87 year old woman hits and knocks down 3 senior cyclists in the bike lane less than a mile from where we live.
One cyclist was in hospital 6 weeks before the could barely talk or move.
The old lady suffered an 'apparent heart attack', but was able to to drive herself home . . . a likely story!
Last year's El Tour de Tucson ( over 8,000 riders) and guy in his 90s decides not to stop and make a left into a pack of riders. Gets out of the car, gets back in car and drives off. They finally located him several days later. Lawyer gets him off the hook. Driver moves out of state. Driver gets 3 years probation. One if the cyclists spent over 8 months in hosipital and may be paralyzed for life.

Yes, Arizona does have a law stating you must clear a cyclist by 3 ft with your car. Is it being enforced?
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Old 11-28-09, 06:27 PM   #20
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First, let me say that the firefighter was totally wrong in stopping the bicyclists, yelling at them, and shooting the dad, and he should have gotten more time--I don't remember if he got the max for shooting a bike helmet while being worn, but it wasn't enough, anyway, and I don't want someone with that kind of lack of control and judgement working in public safety, anyway, so I hope he doesn't get his job back. On the other hand, the area where this occurred is five lanes of death-in-waiting, with no shoulders for escape, multiple retail curb cuts, lots of distractions, 45mph coming off of 55mph (so, 60mph in reality), and I wouldn't even consider riding there, much less with a small child aboard, so the bicyclist's judgement is somewhat questionable, too. A guy on a scooter who was completely in the right was killed there just last year. . . Don't get me started on elderly drivers--just got my car repaired from being hit by an 88 yr old woman who ran from the scene, then tried to convince everyone that I hit her! That little fiasco took ten weeks to clear up, and she was allowed to keep her license and pay a $150 fine, despite the hit and run and the fact that her car showed evidence of multiple minor collisions that had gone unreported (hit and run parking lot accidents, maybe?)
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Old 11-28-09, 11:33 PM   #21
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Disgusting.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I've never heard of a Firefighter carrying a gun.
Lot of them do, at least around here. Many of our firefighters have had law enforcement training and have some kind of certification (not sure of details) that gives them limited LE powers. There are big rural and national forest areas nearby, with drug farms and lots of drug deals going down, and the firefighters that go in there feel they need protection. I was in a volunteer FD for 10 years or so, and probably half the guys carried when we went to wildland fires. We also had a .22 in the truck.
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Old 11-29-09, 06:08 PM   #22
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On the other hand, the area where this occurred is five lanes of death-in-waiting, with no shoulders for escape, multiple retail curb cuts, lots of distractions, 45mph coming off of 55mph (so, 60mph in reality), and I wouldn't even consider riding there, much less with a small child aboard, so the bicyclist's judgement is somewhat questionable, too.
Tunnel road is dangerous and I would question the cyclist's judgement as well if he had his kid out there during rush hour. But it was early on a Sunday morning so there was very little traffic. I don't see a problem at all.
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Old 11-29-09, 10:25 PM   #23
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I was vacationing in Asheville this summer with my bike on board and all-in-all did not think it a very safe place to ride... no excuse for the firefighter implied by this, of course. We had a recent road rage incident here (simple slap to face assault on cyclist by motorist). Sentence was 90 days probation and small fine but judge at least affirmed right of cyclist to be on the street. Luckily there were several eyewitnesses.
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Old 11-30-09, 08:23 AM   #24
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Read not only the story, but the comments on the writer's blog that follow. Then be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID...
Have done so and am not really inclined to be afraid. Life is too short. If I spend my time worrying about these folks, I'd be unable to get up in the morning and get on with my day. As a species it's clear the we've not evolved past the point of using violence as a problem solving tool or a means to fulfill some unfulfilled need, and we have a long way to go in terms of tolerance. Yet, we survive, adapt and get on with it.

I remember my freshman year in high school being accosted by a senior who held a pistol to my head in the boy's restroom at school saying if he ever saw me with "x" brand of cigarettes again, he'd shoot me, because real men only smoked "y" brand. It was at that point that I realized no matter what I did, I couldn't control everything and there would always be someone who didn't like something about me or what I did. The only thing I can control is what I do. Hence, be careful? Yes. Be afraid? No, I don't want to let people like that senor to have that much control over me.
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Old 11-30-09, 03:06 PM   #25
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Have to add this as it is related. On a group ride on Sunday. Great day, however we were out in the country and some moron was sighting in his deer rifle and was shooting from hill to hill with the road we were on in the middle. When we got to the top I asked if anyone else heard the bullets whizzing overhead? Several guys who do hunt said yes. Not a good feeling.
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