ADW w U-Lok in SFV
Thread started by Redline
at 07.25.13 - 6:47 pm
Sooo... Even tho I am not on FB, nor may u all not know my handle here... I believe several of u guys in the cyling community are already somewhat aware of the situation. I will update this thread as I know more, an have time - at the moment, I have still been unable to speak w my lawyer, as he has been out of town.
I've already done 4+ days of jail time (in-rightfully do, I believe), so the felony was dropped to a misdemeanor. However, I am not guilty from the get-go. So I'm certainly fighting all I can. I was with a few ridazz on a ride in the west SFV, the incident occurred last Thursday, on July 19th I believe was the date, around 8-9 pm, heading westward in the right-hand lane of Sherman Way, just past Tampa intersection.
I (we, actually - myself and a few other ridazz) were riding in the right-han lane, as-is our right, peacefully. We were harassed by a motorist, honking behind us, startling us. After explaining to the driver that he needed to put his blinker on and go around, harsher words were exchanged and my bicycle (with me still on it) was hit/pushed by the vehicle. A 3,000+ vehicle, against me (about 140 lbs, maybe a 25 lb bicycle). It was at that very moment that seriously feared for my life, and without even thinking, TW u-lok came out and I tapped the car window - mainly as a warning, like "hey, I'm still right here, don't rub me over!"
It then escalated into an assault situation, as the driver got out of the vehicle and attacked me in the middle of the street. There are more details I will add soon, stay tuned.
Anyway... I do have a good criminal defense lawyer, but I believe this may be quite a case for cyclists rights in the street. I most-likely have one of the ridazz with me as a witness, however any additional support from the cycling community would certainly be appreciated. As I mentioned, I believe this could be a large case, in terms of how our rights as cyclists and motorists are handled in the streets, along with LAPD.
More info to come ASAP, but pls note my trial is currently scheduled for August 8th at 8:30 am, in Van Nuys court.
Thank You for paying attention, and caring about our safety in the streets!
shit, man. hope you're well. i got hit on sherman way, near tampa too. lady on cellie, though.
07.26.13 - 3:46 am
I SAW THIS, AND I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT BRITTANY FINALLY KNOCKED OUT SOMEBODY WITH A U-LOCK, HAHAHA!!!
07.26.13 - 11:30 am
So. I met w my lawyer the other day, finally. Obviously, he's been postponing the court date for a bit. I am now scheduled in on October 1st. Still a pre-trial apnt.
After speaking w several others, and much to my disappointment - even my lawyer broke it down, and was like - id should be happy to just pay the restitution and get any charge dropped. There's still a chance I may get a misdemeanor still, or even take anger management.
This, of course... Just makes me waaayyyy more angry.
This guy failed to share the road, he harassed us, then he hits me w his car... Gets to go home right away. I do four days in jail. Now I'm paying 3k plus I my lawyer... All for really nothing. This guy won't get charged at all, unless I file for a civil suit, which my criminal defense lawyer can't help me with. He does advise, however, that If I'm cycling advocate and seriously inverted with how my rights have been violated, and how I get this guy to own up to accepting the fact that we, as cyclists in the street, really do have a right - I would need a decent amount of cycling advocacy support to help me, when that civil case my happen.
Who can help? RB, any ideas? LACBC, any community support for smal infrastructure/traffic cases - but in reality, a case about our RIGHTs , in the street as cyclists as a whole?
I'm broke. I'm angry. My bike was damaged. LAPD I course doesn't care, and this guy is going (I mean, has already...) just is an asshole and has no respect for us or our rights in the street. Can we make an example of this? Media help? Infrastructure changes, to be brought to attention, at least? Public awareness?!? Its not about me, really - its about us as a whole, in the streets, as our right, right?!?
Help? Advice? Thanks :(
responding to a comment
by DIRTY HIPSTER
09.13.13 - 5:19 pm
I do have some cycling witnesses. My lawyer mentioned getting an investigator in this type of case, and mentioned that maybe there might be some sort of a budget or help available for cycling advocacy cases, like this? This has been killing me financially and emotionally. I'm about to go really insane, if I can't get any sort of reprimand or punishment to this guy... Aggk, fuk. Yea. I'm not happy. Also, I'm not on FB...
09.13.13 - 5:27 pm
Are you injured? Did you go to the ER? If this guy hit you with his car, there is a strong possibility that he is liable for the damages and injury he committed on you. Most personal injury attorney will work on contingency. There is one that advertises on this site. Did you a file an assault charge on him? Did you get your version of events of him hitting you with his vehicle in the police report. You might want to try to go to the DA and lobby them to press charges against this guy. Remember you where defending yourself, was already assaulted and feared for your life.
You are your own person and I wouldn't tell you what to do. If it was me I wouldn't give in and plea. If you don't have any prior assault charges at worse you might end up with some jail time on top of all the things you will have to do by pleading. Last I was in court a public defender will cost $950 to fight a case. I'm sure the attorney you hired will want more money to go to trial. Unfortunately most of these criminal defense attorney just want to get your retainer and then plea for you. It makes no financial sense to them unless you are going to pay them more money to represent you in a trial.
I really don't think the people you are asking for help from are going to come to your aid. The no rida left behind saying from my years of experience is BS. Your on your own.
If you want some community support this thread isn't going to do it for you. I would get together a facebook page. Hardly anybody will see this thread. I would check with a legal representative to make sure this won't harm you any way before creating a page.
09.14.13 - 11:48 am
Dude, if you can get the charges dropped, do what you can to make that happen.
It's hard enough in this economy without having a record, so first get that dealt with.
Deal with the civil / advocacy stuff AFTERWARD.
If your attorney thinks having character witnesses, cycling advocates, etc. being present at your trial / as part of your defense, to better explain the situations cyclists in L.A. face, that's one thing, but focus on what's going to be best for you and keeping your record clean.
Talk to your attorney about the best way to get the criminal case handled.
You've got 2 years to file the civil case, so give that time.
Also, get back on Facebook. It's a lot easier to get in touch with people there.
responding to a comment
09.15.13 - 3:04 am
How did you get your lawyer? Have you been in contact with DJWheels from this site, who is a practicing attorney with an affinity for bicycles? See his website:
Lawyers generally give consultations for free, and talking with a second lawyer might open your eyes to other possible options not discussed by your lawyer.
Also, have you been in contact with the Valley's bicycle liaison? Not sure how well they respond but they are worth a try.
According to streetsblog
the bicycle liaison for the Valley is
Sgt. Steve Egan email@example.com 818-644-8146
responding to a comment
09.15.13 - 11:21 am
I'm sorry this happened to you.
I feel like I would have reacted the same in this situation. From what you shared, you deserved nothing to get into so much trouble.
I told Roadblock to read this, as I think he may have some good suggestions for you.
I have a strong feeling that this will be a reoccurring thing with fellow riders. Drivers are getting stupid and aggressive for no good reason. Some guys are just looking for an excuse to escalate it into a fight so that they can feel "justified".
They won't win. However, we need to talk about alternative ways to deal with situations like these to prevent them from getting to this level. Like I said, I feel like my gut reaction would be to do what you did with your U-Lock. But, as we can see, this ultimately won't help us in the long run.
I know this will get sorted out for you for the better eventually. I understand your frustration and know that we support you and can relate to what you are going through.
09.15.13 - 11:46 am
"From what you shared, you deserved nothing to get into so much trouble. "
You did nothing to deserve such trouble.
09.15.13 - 12:03 pm
I agree with what JB is saying... JB is a lawyer. make sure you get everything dropped to as minor or no charges as possible.
I would be curious though, because on the otherside of things it seems like the CA and DA are loathe to bring cases like this forward. It amounts to spending lots of time going to trial over a big nothing. dude wasnt hurt or even hit right? you only hit his car? I could see a situation - and JB or one of the other bike lawyers will correct me if I'm wrong - where the CA would just not pursue it. Its not worth anything because there was no real harm done from what I understand.
DJWheels or Ross Hircsh would be good to talk to.
. you dont want a record.... we should all brainstorm this and try to help... its not cool what happened to you man...
09.16.13 - 12:24 pm
Thank You everyone, for taking the time to read this and respond. It is at least a little comforting. My lawyer is Craig Sturm, Sturm Law. He is attempting to get it dropped, dismissed, or even the call the "victim" and see if he will drop the charges, if I take care of the restitution ($500 for windshield). So, just kinda have to wait to see how that goes I guess... I'm due in court Oct. 1st, in Van Nuys.
I appreciate the suggestions, thank you! I will def try consulting with some of the other lawyers mentioned, as well. It just boggles my mind, that LAPd clearly disregarded the fact this guy broke several laws and provoked the whole thing. Yet, I'm the bad guy.
I have a FB, but I've kept it off for several personal reasons. I don't want to get into why... But anyway, I really can't turn that back on, it upsets and depresses me.
Anyway... What I think really needs to happen, is that more awareness is brought to drivers via the DMV tests they take for their license, and more infrastructure improvements, that clearly shows drivers their responsibility to share the road responsibly. Most drivers just think we don't belong in the street, and that we have no rights to our lane, or any lane. I, like many other cyclists, rely solely on my bicycle (and some metro) for my transportation. I haven't driven my car in over 2 years. It is the education of drivers, that is the most important. Like the Metro ads, Every Lane is a Bije Lane, Please Share the Road... Public awareness. It should be mandatory at DMV, that small tests be given every time u register a vehicle, get new plates, reissue a license, etc... That u are required to understand and follow the rules of the road, which include cyclists in the street.
What's really a shame, is the hit and run epidemic that is happening right now... I feel like this is nothing, considering the death and injury of recent cyclists, by drunk drivers. We can't keep waiting on infrastructure improvements, its not going to make drivers aware of our rights in the street, and their responsibility to share the road peacefully.
responding to a comment
09.17.13 - 3:13 pm
You might not want to discuss the facts of the incident in question any further on here Chris, as it's a public forum. You don't want one of your statements taken out of context and used against you.
Get the criminal case sorted, ask your lawyer if there's anything the Ridazz can do to help you with that, and then move on to the advocacy aspects once you're in the clear.
09.17.13 - 8:57 pm
Aha see now that was funny.
I've been trying actually but no one wants to fight. :[ Just yap away on Facebook. I'll bring my u-lock to you if you want.
responding to a comment
by DIRTY HIPSTER
10.10.13 - 4:45 pm