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hurricane harry 02-15-11 02:00 PM

Cyclist kicks Volvo's butt

Charges filed in road rage incident between bicyclist, driver

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

A Redmond man who allegedly threw his bicycle at a car after the driver honked at him has been charged with first-degree malicious mischief.
The alleged combatants, bicyclist Chad W. Olson, 42, and driver Ben D. Han, 46, each gave Redmond police different accounts of the Oct. 16 confrontation, according to charging papers filed last week in King County Superior Court.
Han said he and his wife were driving east on Old Redmond Road when they came up to a bicyclist who was weaving between the bike lane and the roadway, the charges allege. Han honked at the bicyclist, identified by police as Olson, and then drove ahead of him.
The bicyclist then "chased" Han's car down. When Olson caught up to the car he hit the driver's-side mirror and spit on the vehicle, the charges say.
At a stoplight, Olson pulled ahead of the car and got off his bike, according to the charges. Olson then threw the bicycle at the passenger's side of the car.
In total, there was almost $5,700 worth of damage to the Hans' car, charges allege.
After police were summoned by the Hans, Olson walked into the Redmond Police Department to report a road rage incident, charges said. He told police that his bike had been struck by the Hans' car and that he responded by hitting the driver's-side mirror out of anger and self-defense, charging paperwork said.
Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said that because Olson has no prior criminal history he faces up to 90 days in jail if he's convicted.

crhilton 02-15-11 02:24 PM

From the comments:

I was on eastgate and no traffic.. 35 mph down by the bellevue college bridge heading east.. saw a biker gave him a wide berth literally cutting into the middle lane in our westfalia.. sure its a bit larger, slightly intimidating which I did compensate for pulling 1.5 feet into the center.

Guy still screamed at me, as I drove by.. then as I was at the light, proceeded to verbally abuse me.
He gave him a wide berth of 1.5 feet. Gee, I wonder why we have altercations where both sides think they were being nice and the other was nuts.

exile 02-15-11 02:59 PM

It's interesting how the story gives Han's side (the driver) of how the events unfolded and not Olson's (the cyclist). Also the story is reporting that Olson has no previous criminal history and that he could face time in jail if convicted. Uhhh, what about Han? Does he have a criminal history? Why didn't they report that? Could Han face jail time if he is found guilty of hitting the cyclist and proceeding to leave the scene of an accident?

Olson: "Yeah officer, I was riding my bike in the bike lane and had to swerve to avoid the debris. Some dude behind me started laying on his horn and then sideswiped me. I caught up to him at the light letting him know that he hit me. He proceeded to yell obscenities at me and threatened to run me over next time. I was angry and threw the bike at him"

Officer: "You will pay for restitution and go to jail. You scratched a practically brand new Volvo and the driver would be shamed if he had to drive a scratched vehicle around town. The Constitution clearly states no person should be subject to Cruel and Unusual punishment. You evil cyclist are a terrorist for attacking a foreign car and will be sent to Gitmo!"

It sounds like the newspaper made up its mind which story it is going to side with.

B. Carfree 02-15-11 03:09 PM

Two stories. One is of a fairly common occurance: irate, impatient motorist honks at and strikes a cyclist with his car. The other is an incident so rare that it makes national news when it can be shown to happen: cyclist attacks car of motorist who offended him. Hmmm, which is more believable? Of course, the one that almost never happens! It's truly amazing that the police will believe any version of events that puts the cyclist at blame not matter how crazy the story and will never believe that a motorist would ever endanger a cyclist (those hundreds of deaths per year don't count).

fuji86 02-15-11 04:15 PM

Tough call to make here, without traffic cam video evidence or an impartial witness to corroborate one of the stories. We have to assume that the couple in the car are most likely to have the same story, this will most likely go against the cyclist. Would be interesting to have the actual incident report with both sides, even see & hear each present their case, but from the article, I honestly don't know what really happened here. Heck, I'd even want to see the condition of the car and bike prior to the incident, maybe the cyclist threw his bike, but the mirror was broken prior to the incident and the couple want that fixed, along with the door too ?

hurricane harry 02-15-11 05:52 PM

The facts still are not totally clear, at first report the vehicle was a Volvo. Another report claimed it was a VW Westfalia van.

dougmc 02-15-11 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by crhilton (Post 12230007)
He gave him a wide berth of 1.5 feet.

No, he said he pulled 1.5 feet into the center -- not the same thing. From this, it's not clear how wide the berth was.

dougmc 02-15-11 10:01 PM

Originally Posted by exile (Post 12230209)
He proceeded to yell obscenities at me and threatened to run me over next time. I was angry and threw the bike at him

Ultimately, if you intentionally damage somebody's property in a way that you can't claim was an accident and you aren't gone when the cops arrive -- you're going to lose. It doesn't matter how badly the guy deserved it, and it really has nothing to do with bicycle hate or anything along those lines.

Have a near accident with two cars, both guys get out and start yelling at each other, guy #1 threatens guy #2, guy #2 kicks guy #1's car -- guess who's going to jail? Physical evidence beats "he said, she said" every time.

Ironically, you've got a better chance of getting off for punching the guy -- at least then you can claim that you did it in self defense, that he'd swung at you or was about to swing at you or something -- you can't (believably) claim that you smashed his car to stop him from hurting you or anything along those lines.

Mr. Cranky 02-15-11 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by hurricane harry (Post 12230921)
The facts still are not totally clear, at first report the vehicle was a Volvo. Another report claimed it was a VW Westfalia van.

No it was a Volvo. The incident with the Westfalia was a separate incident as told by the driver in the comments section under the article on the Seattle Times website.

jdgesus 02-15-11 11:33 PM

volva, cuz they dont drive westies in redmond

electrik 02-15-11 11:41 PM

Everybody knows Volvo drivers are abysmal... They picked their car on the sole premise of crashing it!

I'll say it again, I cringe every thread here that goes... "So i pulled up to the drivers window and..."

DX-MAN 02-16-11 07:33 AM

Yup, cyclists attacking "offending" autos are rare; the last one I heard of resulted in the cyclist being dragged down the street before being bounced off a mailbox....

2 sides to the story; but the fact that the driver called the cops while the cyclist resorted to self-help stands against the cyclist. May not be right, but that's the way it is.

dougmc 02-16-11 08:07 AM

Originally Posted by DX-MAN (Post 12233205)
Yup, cyclists attacking "offending" autos are rare

Rare? No, no that rare. But most of the time it's not news, and really, I think much of the time the cyclist is smart enough to not stick around for the police.

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