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"felony possession of a firearm, felony fleeing & misdemeanor assault on a police officer"

I'm not entirely sure how the victim impact statement works, but exactly how is the nature of an assault on a police officer something the cycling community should care about?

And the other two charges clearly have nothing to do with cycling.

"The driver was charged at the scene with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (vehicle), Assault on a Police Officer, Fleeing & Eluding, & Reckless Driving. Needless to say, his vehicle was impounded."

Why doesn't this happen when the same car bumps into a regular citizen? Cops, even cops on bikes, aren't that special.

hey lawyers...

charged...with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (vehicle)

Does this set a precedent?

also curious if it was a black SUV?

Great post. I am a cyclist who commutes to work every day. I am happy that Girl on a Bike was uninjured and glad the cops caught the perp. There's no way I'd do what she did, though I fantasize about doing that kind of thing. I decided years ago after a near fist-fight with a driver to essentially ignore them. My philosophy now is that drivers are the silverback gorillas, and I am a mere non-silverback, and I need to be submissive when they act aggressively.

how is the nature of an assault on a police officer something the cycling community should care about?

Because this all started with an assault on a cyclist. The charge for assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle) was dropped, but can still be brought up at sentencing.

@Tom: I believe he racked up all those charges /after/ he bumped into her (twice). It's unfortunate that he doesn't get hit for the original crime, but (1) it's a plea and (2) it's the less serious charge.

@washcycle; "The charge for assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle) was dropped, but can still be brought up at sentencing."

Can it? It is just a charge, and I don't know if misdemeanor assault on a police officer is somehow a related/lesser charge.

Let's say I charge you with murder, but you agree to a charge of weapon possession. Can I bring up the murder charge in sentencing?

I really don't know the answer to this, but my instinct says "no."

You could certainly bring up the nature of the assault -- by vehicle -- but given the heavy charges here are felony firearm possession and felony fleeing -- is the misdemeanor charge going to do much?

WOW this is really an amazing story. I really love hearing justice being delivered. Those guys probably harass bikers like that all the time so it is great to see them reprimanded for their actions.

Charlie, yes. The victim can mention any evidence at all. They can mention charges that were dripped as part of the plea and all kinds of evidence that would have been disallowed in the trial.

I think I love you, K.C.

And if you were a man, I'd feel no different. More cops on bikes, please.

She makes it sound like it was only luck that she had a radio and knew what to look for. If a regular person used their cell, do you think that the police would come so quickly? (Do they know where the MBT is?) I'd argue that they were more responsive because it was a fellow officer.

The concept of showing up (albeit silently) makes sense especially because doing so makes it more likely that the media shows up, which in turn makes it more likely that if judge says something about assaulting a bicyclist, a message will actually be sent.

The problem I have with this is that showing up for a quick hearing is one thing, hanging out at the court all day waiting for the hearing is another. Hopefully we can get some analysis of the probable wait time from Girl on a Bike as the day approaches.

@Jim T:

Flash Victim Impact Mob?

I've put the court date on my calendar. I think it's a great opportunity to show the media that this matters to many people, not just one unusual female cop (which is how the public will dismiss it). I think it will have even more of an impact if a large group of cyclists are willing to wait for hours to get heard.

I _get_ that she is getting justice because she is a cop. This sort of thing has been clear to me ever since an article in Bicycling magazine ("Broken") made it clear that the only drivers who were being prosecuted were "drunk drivers" and that a "drunk driver" doesn't have to be drunk at the time of the car-bicycle collision--he or she just has to have a record of drunk driving. In other words, it's the label that matters. The first time I ever read about a driver being prosecuted (around 2005, I think), the driver was drunk AND a hit and run AND was a government official with the job of making the roads safer. Since I've been paying attention, I've seen the rankings go from cop > driver > pedestrian > pond scum > drunk driver > cyclist to cop > driver > pedestrian > cyclist > pond scum > drunk driver. That's what progress looks like.

Right now, however, my concern is not about the discriminatocracy that passes for a court system in this country. Right now I am hopeful that we can take advantage of this opportunity to show that cyclists are people who demand justice (the messed up justice system notwithstanding).

this morning, i was assaulted by a vehicle on florida avenue while biking to work. i called 911 and the police were there within 10 minutes. considering that i didn't require an ambulance, i'd say that was pretty timely, and i'm not a police officer. seems like adequate urgency to me.

Sorry to hear it, IMGoph.

oboe: thanks. i'm ok. hoping that some kind of charges can be pinned to the jerk in the end, though.

@IMGOPH - Sorry to hear about your morning.

@Washcycle and K.C. - Thanks for the great story -- albeit a story that K.C. probably would rather have avoided -- I forwarded it on to others. I guess that Instant Karma does sometimes get ya. I will try my best to be there on August 19. At the very least, K.C. deserves support for having gone through all of this.

I certainly do not begrudge any "insider" police action in this case but as hinted in the closing, what can the rest of us expect when assaulted by a driver of a vehicle?

In Howard County the police will write the owner of the vehicle a letter and keep track the history. That's a great place to start but still rather sad that it is only in one county that I know of that will at least do something and treat this crime with some degree of seriousness and professionalism.

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