Tag Archives: road rage

Don’t Deliberately Brake Hard in Front of Cyclists

Ride a BikeA crystal clear case of driver vs biker road rage?  Last year, city prosecutors filed criminal charges against physician Christopher Thompson for deliberately braking hard in front of two cyclists on a narrow stretch of Mandeville Canyon.  After a three-week trial, the jurors came back with convictions in hand: Dr. Thompson was found guilty of, among other charges, assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem.  According to the prosecutors:

… Thompson stopped his car after passing the two cyclists and shouting at them to ride single-file. One cyclist ran face-first into the rear windshield of the doctor’s red Infiniti, breaking his front teeth and nose, and leaving his face scarred. The other was sent hurtling to the sidewalk and suffered a separated shoulder.

Thompson told the response officer that the cyclists flipped him off, so he hit the brakes “to teach them a lesson.”  Thompson’s version is decidedly more benign: he says he pulled over to take a photo of the riders and thought he had left them enough room to get around his car.  Which one sounds more likely?

Two lessons spring to mind.  First, statements you make after an accident can be used for and against you in court, so talk to anyone at your emotionally-charged peril.  And second, don’t effing use your car as a weapon to “teach” someone a lesson.  No apples for you.

Photo courtesy frequent commentator waltarrrrr via the Metblogs Flickr pool.