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It's not just SUV's...(15 posts)

It's not just SUV's...JL
Sep 16, 2001 11:51 AM
Riding this morning and 3 cars started to pass. The last car, a BMW 3 series, passes, lays on the horn and give's me the finger. I did my normal wave & a smile and thought nothing of it. He stops and allows me to get to him. He the proceeds to ride the shoulder (there really is none), and stop/start trying to get me to fall/run off the road. I'm not sure what he wanted me to do. Everytime I thought he was leaving, he'd stop again. Eventually, cars came from behind and he had to move, but he caused a mini traffic jam instead. I decided to turn around and go the other way. I then pulled over, took my cell phone out of my saddle bag and called the police on him. They took his license plate # and asked if I wanted to press harassment charges. I said I wasn't sure, and the policeman said he would try to call the man later and ask what his problem was.

Needless to say I was a little shaken, and road home instead of continuing on my route. The policeman is calling me later, and I'm still undecided to press a harassment charge in a he said/he said (no witness) case. What would you do? Hopefully, the policeman calling will let him know that I have a right to the road. I just hope it doesn't cause more harm than good, if I press the case.
I think it's another one for us against them (cars).

Happy riding.
Sep 16, 2001 11:57 AM
SUV's don't kill people, people kill people...Cliff Oates
Sep 16, 2001 12:01 PM
It sounds like the police officer is sympathetic to your complaint, which is unusual and very cool. You might ask him/her what they think you should do. Even a call from the police to the driver is likely to get his undivided attention, so that's a positive result. It sounds to me like you are handling this perfectly so far.
re: It's not just SUV's...Gibby391
Sep 16, 2001 12:27 PM
More than likely if the guy is found he will lie and say he doesnt know anything about it. Then that means the call from the officer will be telling you that you will have to go see the local judge and you will have to sign the warrant yourself. Most agencies will take a word against word complaint in this manor. If he s dumb and says (Hell, Yeah I did it) your set. It just depends on how far you want it to go
re: It's not just SUV's...David Feldman
Sep 16, 2001 12:31 PM
Sounds like good cops where you are.
re: It's not just SUV's...Zyzbot
Sep 16, 2001 2:12 PM
Maybe I live in an unusual area but many police officers ride bikes where I live and a harassment complaint like this would be taken seriously. However..if it boils down to one person's word against another without witneses...we all know where that usually leads.
PRESS CHARGESrollo tommassi
Sep 16, 2001 3:45 PM
and make part of his probation mandatory psychiatric counseling.
it's the screwed up people nowadayskenyee
Sep 16, 2001 4:19 PM
I find that some things (bad weather, SUVs and minivans, cell phones, etc.) just amplify the inherent problem w/ people. It's the attitude that the world revolves around them and they're never wrong and that there is no need to respect anyone's stuff or earn someone's respect. Then there is the idiotic blame of inanimate objects (tobacco, guns, SUVs, cell phones, etc.) sintead of forcing people to be responsible and punishing only those who aren't instead of saying the things "made them do it"...

Anyways, you said that people were getting stuck behind him. You should have grabbed the license #s of these people as well so that they could be witnesses. Press charges. Hopefully the idiot will get punished.
Thanks all and an Update...JL
Sep 16, 2001 5:34 PM
The policeman called me tonight as he was coming off duty. Unfortunately, the State of PA was still backing up the DOT records and he could not get a positive license plate ID. He's also off the next 2 days, but he would call as soon as he was back on duty. He was cool about it. He said his father used to get batteries thrown at him while mountain-biking.

I asked him about charges and he said that, while he didn't want to discourage me, the township he's in (Newtown, PA) had a horrible court system. He said these morons he files harassment charges on, get the case pushed further & further out, frequently not informing him of the continuance. He said I, as others, just become victims again. This time of the court. He didn't want me to stop, but he said I could be in for a lengthy continuance. He's calling me as soon as he contacts the perpetrator. He did say, "He's probably just an idiot who needs to be told". Unfortunately, I'll be out of town too, but he's calling me on my cell. I think just the fact the guy gets called on it will be a good thing, but I don't want someone else (or me again) running into this guy and getting the raw end of the deal either. I have time to decide about the charges, and even he acknowledges his court system sucks. Others have relayed the same to me. At least he'll have a report in the system against him.

Thanks again and happy (car-free) riding.


P.S. You know, of the ~10 cars that followed him, not one came near me or honked. They each gave me a wide berth. Some people do get it.
Thanks all and an Update...Roy Zipris
Sep 17, 2001 4:49 AM
The Newtown area actually encompasses two district courts. I know one of the district justices--a decent enough man. What does it matter if the continuance is lengthy, if the issue is important enough to you to take up?

Disclosure: as a criminal defense lawyer, I don't have an interest in pushing anyone to press charges, even though a cycling club I belong to does a lot of road riding in that locale.
Keep us PostedRich Clark
Sep 16, 2001 6:56 PM
Glad it didn't escalate any further, and congrats on making what sound like all the right moves. It would be easy to urge you to file your complaint and pursue it to the last possible extreme, but I know how time-consuming and frustrating dealing with district courts can be. You're probably right, like you said in your other post, that the guy getting a call from the cops is probably going to have the maximum possible effect.

Besides, this driver sounds like one of those hypertensive Type-A's that are already brimming over with anger and frustration, and pressing charges will just piss him off at cyclists even more.

BTW, what road were you on?

re: It's not just SUV's...Lone Gunman
Sep 17, 2001 7:29 AM
Read the statute for assault in the PA Crim code. The mere threat of violence is grounds for an assault charge, harassament are possibilities. Charge him with as much as possible then let him fight it out with the Court system. It forces him to spend money for a defense Attorney, takes time out of his day, etc. Teaches him he IS a jackass, however this is most likely the type of person that never learns "life's little lessons".
re: It's not just SUV's...KT
Sep 17, 2001 9:57 AM
hunt him down and slah his tires, key the paint, and bash the windows. oh, and spray paint 'Bikes Rule' on the hood, although that might give you away. But the other suggestions seem to make sense too.
re: It's not just SUV's...Empirion75
Sep 17, 2001 2:25 PM
I bet he would have loved it if you kicked his taillight in or dragged your cleats along his side panels. You're to nice. I understand avoiding conflict is a good thing.
A little trick I've learned....HamSammy
Sep 17, 2001 3:22 PM

They hate that.