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Sep 25, 2002 9:32 AM
I received this email from one of the lists I subscribe to and was very shocked at the message from the cyclist. This is an area near Philadelphia and still I am shocked at the horror this cyclist must of experienced. Here is the copied message:
hey everyone

I'd like to know if anyone of you has had a similar
incident with Park Ranger Joseph Nagle of the
Lower Perkiomen Park near Valley Forge, Pa.


at around 10 am Sunday morning (Sept. 22) Ranger Nagle hit me with his official
Park vehicle, veering right into my bike and body in an attempt to get me to
stop my bicycle. he sent me flying into the air, 3 or 4 feet, and i hit the
ground hard. (There are no posted speed limits on this trail and although i was
rolling at around 16 mph he claims i was speeding and that i had to stop or he
would have me arrested.)

while on the ground, first i checked to make sure my collarbone wasn't re-
broken. i also checked my head/helmet to make sure i was ok. still stunned,
bleeding and attempting to lift myself off the ground, the ranger proceeds to
put his vehicle in reverse and in doing so, runs over my right foot/cleat with
the middle tire of his 6- tire vehicle. while im on the ground yelling and, at
this point, crying that he's running over my right foot, he makes no attempt to
come to my aid. instead, he continues to yell at me, saying i was speeding
and that i HAD to be stopped. he also claims that he knew what he was doing
since he was a 'retired police officer'.

In my anger and frustration i kept trying to point out that he had just injured
me on impact, that he had run over my foot with his vehicle, and trashed my
bike and wheel, in an attemtp to stop me. he was so irrationally angry that it
was difficult to even get my point across. he saw nothing wrong with what he
had just done to me. no witnesses to be seen and as i stood there bleeding from
hand, knees and elbow i kept trying to make him see how vicious his reaction
had been.

i filed a police report and am in the process of speaking to an attorney. I
would like to hear from anyone out there who has had a similar experience with
Ranger Nagle.

Please email me at


If you've experienced the same treatment, I'd advise you to email Cass. I believe she is a member of the Tri-State Velo Road club that I used to belong to. Take care

Lawsuit waiting to happen, but there are no witnesses. nmDave Hickey
Sep 25, 2002 9:38 AM
Except for her mangled body and thrashed bike.fbg111
Sep 25, 2002 9:40 AM
Maybe a good lawyer can make a case of it.
darn, that's f'd up. Hope she nails him. nmfbg111
Sep 25, 2002 9:38 AM
Godda remember it's PhiladelphiaK-Man
Sep 25, 2002 10:00 AM
Area is a haven for law suits and high verdicts.
Cass rides for our MTB team and is great road/mtb rider and person in general. I was actually reading this post when she sent an email across to some local teams.
I think she has a good case, just needs a good lawyer.

Don't any of you wonder...Wayne
Sep 25, 2002 10:08 AM
WHY he was trying to get her to stop and WHY she wasn't stopping?
The beginning of that story is missing, it probably does not justify those actions, but then again it just might (well at least the first part of them)!

If a police cruiser suddenly runs you off the road and you crash, mangle your car and your body you have a lawsuit. If you just gunned down two people while robbing a bank and are fleeing than you have no case when you get run off the road by the cops!
I partially agree........Dave Hickey
Sep 25, 2002 10:14 AM
There is no excuse for him deliberately hurting her, but there are two sides to the story.
Sep 25, 2002 10:27 AM
I know Cass actually.
I sincerely doubt the rangers actions were justified (certainly not backing over her foot but my guess would be that was an accident unless he's some kinda sicko!). But just because someone's on a bike doesn't mean they're in the right was all that I was pointing out. She could have just run over some little kid while speeding along for all we know (although knowing Cass i'm sure this isn't the case).
As far as a lawsuit, if a ranger/cop tells you to stop and you don't, I'm not sure what the law entitles them to do?
Kind of likeK-Man
Sep 25, 2002 10:19 AM
if you break into someones house to rob them and they shoot you in the leg you have no case? Seen a few too many law suits won and paid to criminals. Your statement/case holds no merit!
She (assuming) was not involved in any crime at the time, just riding her bike....looks to me light assalt with intent to do something not so good!
The guy had absolutely had no right to do what he did in the way he did it and anyone who dispute this really needs to have their head checked.

Kind of likerbb
Sep 25, 2002 10:34 AM
AGREED, Kman!!!
Some of these guys really need to stop flaming at every post put on this board! Just MHO.

Sep 25, 2002 10:44 AM
she definitely has a lawsuit regarding getting backed over.
But you say, "The guy had absolutely had no right to do what he did in the way he did..."
I'm questioning if he did, if a park ranger tells you to stop and you don't can he force you to stop?
I'd like to know, are there any lawyers out there?

P.S. Kurt is that you?
Sep 25, 2002 11:03 AM
Not a law expert by any means, but in the same reguards I don't think the "real" policy are allowed to run a biker off the road with their vehicle if a bicyclist refused to stop for running a stop sign, speeding or anything like that. I think is called excessive force (Rodney King ring any bells). Just my .02 worth.

Nope not Kurt....but....
Michael Kirk
yea, yea, yea, not much of a road rider, but more of a road rider wanna be.......maybe this fall/next year

So you're saying...Wayne
Sep 25, 2002 11:52 AM
if I commit a minor crime or maybe even no crime at all but run from the cops, they can't stop me if they might hurt me? Is there any less violent way to stop somebody fleeing on a bike than to knock them off?
I think Cass' lawsuit will hinge on if the ranger has the right to stop her or not. If he does then she won't have a good case regarding the first contact.
Any way you look at it whether accidental or intentional backing over her foot was his fault and not related to stopping her, so that really isn't an issue.
knocking into a biker with a car for possibly speeding...Djudd
Sep 25, 2002 12:02 PM
is way over the top. A broken collarbone or worse is way out-of-line for maybe speeding. What if she was paralyzed or killed?
Even if the guy was within his rights...Kristin
Sep 25, 2002 12:17 PM
And there is a whole big question right there. What are his rights for apprehending suspects? Do the allowances offered to law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania apply to its park rangers as well? Even if they do, and this guy was legally within his rights in trying to stop or detain her, if he was merely trying to stop her because she was going too fast, who do you think a jury will vote for?
His actions were TOTALLY unjustified and irresponsiblespyderman
Sep 26, 2002 4:26 AM
Nobody's life was in danger to justify him attacking her with his vehicle.

A logical response by the Park Ranger would have been to follow her and report her speeding to the State Police.

He's screwed.
Sep 26, 2002 5:24 AM
he has the same rights as the State Police. I'm pretty sure in my state I've seen Park Rangers carrying guns, and I've seen them detain people (and then call the cops to make the arrest).
I don't think anyone would argue his actions were justifiable, etc., since all she did was not slow down or stop when he told her to. BUT if he has the right to force her to stop when told to (which I believe cops do) then her case will be hard to get a settlement on in the first instance of him knocking her off her bike.
Aren't there any lawyers out there who can clarify this?
knocking cars off roadkenyee
Sep 25, 2002 1:12 PM
I know...slightly different, but the criminals could still get paralyzed or killed if their car goes into a ditch and rolls a few times, yet we see this happen on Cops shows.

Wish we knew more about the accident. The person writing the email didn't say anything about what preceded it and why the ranger was ticked off enough to whack her w/ his car...the story started off w/ the ranger trying to stop her. The ranger was psycho through the rest of the story though.

That's another reason why all arrests should be videotaped and all cops should be forced to wear helmet cams...they can pay for it by selling the footage to the Cops shows...
yeah, I domr_spin
Sep 25, 2002 10:32 AM
I'm a born cynic, so that was my first thought. But what the ranger did was so amazingly brutal and had such reckless disregard for human life, that unless she was fleeing the scene of a major felony, whatever she did doesn't matter.
Not necessarily. It sounds like he's a wannabe cop.Kristin
Sep 25, 2002 11:05 AM
There are so many law enforement wannabies and future serial killers running around in rent-a-copy uniformes it sin't funny. Forest preserves are a good place to find these guys. They can't pass the psych tests needed to enter a training academy so they take other authoritative type jobs that give them the power they crave. You're right, the whole story wasn't told. However, if her description of this incident is anything close to accurate, then this is a scary dude who needs to be removed from his job at the very least. NOTHING could justify that kind of neglegence. He sounds like a loose cannon to me. I've experienced that type of person enough times to believe her story.
exactly right..these folk on the fringes of where they want to..Djudd
Sep 25, 2002 11:54 AM
be in law enforcement are the worst. Short of being Charles Manson on a bike what this guy did was foolish and unnecessary not to mention dangerous. Typical of some pathetic wannabe cop
Power corrupts...absolute power...(nm)kenyee
Sep 25, 2002 1:06 PM
Seems to me. . .czardonic
Sep 25, 2002 12:21 PM
that if there was any justification for this level of force, the cyclist would be in jail right now. Police cruisers do run fleeing criminals off the road. . .and then they haul the offenders off! They don't let them off with a red-faced lecture.

If the rider was not charged with serious crime, and is currently considering a lawsuit rather than a criminal defense, I suspect that there was no justification.
re: ATTENION! READ THIS EMAIL.....aliensporebomb
Sep 25, 2002 12:33 PM
Totally inexcusable. The guy should be fired and he should
be charged with assault. What a totally egotistical a$$hole.

That being said, what was it that caused him to go after the girl? Was she mountain biking in an area she shouldn't? Going too fast for conditions? We don't know.

The punishment doesn't fit the crime, that's for sure. And we don't even know if she actually did anything wrong.

Watch that guy very carefully - if he uses automobiles against women he probably has done similar things in the past. Freak.
My 2 cents...GreenFan
Sep 25, 2002 3:48 PM
I recently rode along the same trail on a weekday...not too many other trail users, but I did see an awful lot of signs posted that all said "reduced speed zone" whatever that is supposed to no means however, do those signs give this psycho with a badge the right to assault a cyclist with a 2 ton wrecking ball. I would also mention that, out of all of the threatened/threatening occurences I've had with motorists over the past two years in the Philly suburbs, 90% involved off duty cops....just something to think about.
I'm sure he's been involved in other incidentscarnageasada
Sep 25, 2002 4:45 PM
Maybe not with bikers, but with somebody. She should check a pet website and see if he's run over any loose animals.
Can Anyone Verify This Story With An-Online News ...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 26, 2002 9:30 AM
source? I am not saying that it did not happen. However, I would like to see some coverage for it. A quick search revealed nothing.

I am assuming 1) the press covered it, and 2) the press at least tried to get the "other" side of the story.
How would the press know about it...Wayne
Sep 26, 2002 9:40 AM
unless either the ranger or the mountain biker contacted them? It happened. Cass sent out an email to the local lists regarding what precipitated it. The ranger told her to slow down (or stop?) and she either wasn't doing it or didn't do it fast enough for his liking, so he decided to stop her himself.
You're obviously not a cop...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 27, 2002 7:27 AM
Everything the cops do in area of the country makes the news. I was just looking for independant verifictaion.