Fwd: [Chicago] Cyclist asks for support in court hearing Friday

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Robert J. Matte, Mar 19, 2003.

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  1. -------- Original Message -------- Subject: [*CCM*] Cyclist asks for support in court hearing Friday
    Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 10:53:09 -0800 From: David Callahan <[email protected]> Reply-To: Chicago
    Critical Mass <[email protected]> To: [email protected]

    This case involves a cyclist who believes the man who hit him did so intentionally, yet the driver
    denies this and police have charged him only with leaving the scene and driving without insurance.
    The cyclist, Lowell Feinstein, is asking for a show of support in court on Friday afternoon.

    ----------------------------------------------

    A Chicago man will face charges Friday of leaving the scene of an accident and driving without
    insurance after crashing twice into a bicyclist who maintains that it was a deliberate attack.

    Police say Darick J. Collins, of 5320 W. Adams St., first struck cyclist Lowell Feinstein in the
    northbound bike lane at 100 N. Halsted Street at about 5 p.m. February 20, and again, a few
    minutes later in the intersection of Halsted and Lake Street, after the Feinstein sprayed mace in
    Collins’ face.

    Police did not file any charges reflecting Feinstein's claim that either of the two collisions were
    deliberate. Police said that the 1989 Oldsmobile that Collins was driving was abandoned in the 700
    block of Hubbard with the bicycle still caught on the front of the vehicle.

    Collins told police that after first striking Feinstein, he had driven around the block and caught
    up to him at the Halsted/Lake intersection so he could “apologize.” He said that after he was maced,
    he was blinded and frightened, and in an attempt to drive off, he struck Feinstein instead.

    A preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. Friday, March 21 in Room 406 of Traffic Court at
    Daley Center.

    Feinstein said the first strike came from behind while the Collins was allegedly passing other cars
    on the right. Feinstein said that Collins came up behind and sounded his horn repeatedly; but
    Feinstein said he was confused and instead of getting out of the way, he slowed down. “I thought it
    was a cop.”

    He was hit in the rear tire and was nearly thrown from his bike, but maintained control as Collins
    drove away.

    Feinstein said he rode up to the the intersection of Halsted and Lake St., where Collins’ vehicle
    was standing in the right lane of traffic. He said he kept his bag open so he could reach for his
    mace. “I asked the driver if he always tries to run cyclists over.” Feinstein said Collins became
    “belligerent” and began yelling at him and moving as if he were trying to get out of the car, reach
    for a weapon or both.

    “I felt threatened,” he said. “I squirted mace at him—then I rode up to the light and got ready to
    turn left,”

    It was then that Collins’ car crossed over from the right to hit Feinstein, police said.

    “He attempted to kill me,” Feinstein said. “He accelerated and hit my bike throwing me off into the
    grill of a van coming the other way. The vehicle then also hit the van.”

    Feinstein, who is a doctor at Cook County Hospital, said he suffered a bruised temporal bone,
    multiple cuts, hematomas and contusions, and a laceration over the eye that required six stitches.
    His custom Appalachian bike was totaled.

    ###
     
    Tags:


  2. On Wed, 19 Mar 2003 19:07:06 GMT in rec.bicycles.misc, "Robert J. Matter"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > “He attempted to kill me,” Feinstein said. “He accelerated and hit my bike throwing me off into
    > the grill of a van coming the other way. The vehicle then also hit the van.”
    >
    > Feinstein, who is a doctor at Cook County Hospital, said he suffered a bruised temporal bone,
    > multiple cuts, hematomas and contusions, and a laceration over the eye that required six stitches.
    > His custom Appalachian bike was totaled.
    >
    of course if the idiot driver had no insurance, dr. feinstein will end up with a judgement and
    nothing to show for it, since the idiot probably also has no or very little assets.

    the disturbing thing here is that unlike in last year's case of a driver intentionally running down
    and *killing* a cyclist, the cops didn't charge the driver with attempted homicide. what's with the
    chicago DA's office that they don't prosecute these killers?
     
  3. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (Dennis P. Harris)

    wrote in part:

    > what's with the chicago DA's office that they don't prosecute these killers?

    I have no personal knowledge of this case and based solely on the OP I can think of at least two
    reasons why a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) might choose to decline to prosecute it
    as a felony. 1- It sounds as if there are no independent witnesses to the incident. No ASA wants to
    approve felony charges based solely on the victim's version of events especially when 2- the
    defendant's version of events doesn't differ in the particulars of the incident but offers a
    different *reason* for those events. IOW, "Yeah, I accidentally hit him. When I tried to apologize
    he sprayed Mace in my eyes so I tried to get away from him. I hit him a second time because I
    couldn't see due to being blinded by the Mace."

    I'm not saying I believe the defendant's version of events, just that if the defendant made that
    kind of claim and there are no independent witnesses to refute him I can understand an ASA rejecting
    felony charges.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  4. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >2- the defendant's version of events doesn't differ in the particulars of the incident but offers a
    >different *reason* for those events. IOW, "Yeah, I accidentally hit him. When I tried to apologize
    >he sprayed Mace in my eyes so I tried to get away from him. I hit him a second time because I
    >couldn't see due to being blinded by the Mace."
    >
    >I'm not saying I believe the defendant's version of events, just that if the defendant made that
    >kind of claim and there are no independent witnesses to refute him I can understand an ASA
    >rejecting felony charges.
    >
    >Regards, Bob Hunt

    That was my impression as well, the defendents story was certainly possible.

    Personally if someone had nearly hit me and I saw them coming back, I wouldn't give them a chance to
    hit me. I wouldn't mace someone, I would get off the road and out of their way.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  5. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (Jon Isaacs)

    wrote:

    >That was my impression as well, the defendents story was certainly possible.
    >
    >Personally if someone had nearly hit me and I saw them coming back, I wouldn't give them a chance
    >to hit me. I wouldn't mace someone, I would get off the road and out of their way.
    >
    >Jon Isaacs

    Hopefully we can avoid a flame war over this since neither you nor I are saying, "Yeah, it was all
    the cyclist's fault and he got what he deserved.".

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  6. Peter Storey

    Peter Storey Guest

    [email protected] (Dennis P. Harris) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > the disturbing thing here is that unlike in last year's case of a driver intentionally running
    > down and *killing* a cyclist, the cops didn't charge the driver with attempted homicide. what's
    > with the chicago DA's office that they don't prosecute these killers?

    Isn't that the same State's Attorney office that -- to everyone's complete astonishment -- actually
    did prosecute the offender in the other (Fitzpatrick?) case for first degree murder, took it trial
    w/o accepting a plea, and got a conviction on exactly that charge? As I recall, that was generally
    thought to be unprecedented.

    If I've got that half right, Cook County SA's cycling credentials are in much better shape
    than most.

    Peter Storey
     
  7. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    In a sane world the driver would have gotten some jail time.

    "Robert J. Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > -------- Original Message -------- Subject: [*CCM*] Cyclist asks for support in court hearing
    > Friday Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 10:53:09 -0800 From: David Callahan <[email protected]> Reply-To:
    > Chicago Critical Mass <[email protected]> To: [email protected]
    >
    > This case involves a cyclist who believes the man who hit him did so
    intentionally, yet the driver denies this and police have charged him only with leaving the scene
    and driving without insurance. The cyclist, Lowell Feinstein, is asking for a show of support in
    court on Friday afternoon.
    >
    > ----------------------------------------------
    >
    > A Chicago man will face charges Friday of leaving the scene of an accident
    and driving without insurance after crashing twice into a bicyclist who maintains that it was a
    deliberate attack.
    >
    > Police say Darick J. Collins, of 5320 W. Adams St., first struck cyclist
    Lowell Feinstein in the northbound bike lane at 100 N. Halsted Street at about 5 p.m. February 20,
    and again, a few minutes later in the intersection of Halsted and Lake Street, after the Feinstein
    sprayed mace in Collins' face.
    >
    > Police did not file any charges reflecting Feinstein's claim that either
    of the two collisions were deliberate. Police said that the 1989 Oldsmobile that Collins was driving
    was abandoned in the 700 block of Hubbard with the bicycle still caught on the front of the vehicle.
    >
    > Collins told police that after first striking Feinstein, he had driven
    around the block and caught up to him at the Halsted/Lake intersection so he could "apologize." He
    said that after he was maced, he was blinded and frightened, and in an attempt to drive off, he
    struck Feinstein instead.
    >
    > A preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. Friday, March 21 in Room 406 of
    Traffic Court at Daley Center.
    >
    > Feinstein said the first strike came from behind while the Collins was
    allegedly passing other cars on the right. Feinstein said that Collins came up behind and sounded
    his horn repeatedly; but Feinstein said he was confused and instead of getting out of the way, he
    slowed down. "I thought it was a cop."
    >
    > He was hit in the rear tire and was nearly thrown from his bike, but
    maintained control as Collins drove away.
    >
    > Feinstein said he rode up to the the intersection of Halsted and Lake St.,
    where Collins' vehicle was standing in the right lane of traffic. He said he kept his bag open so he
    could reach for his mace. "I asked the driver if he always tries to run cyclists over." Feinstein
    said Collins became "belligerent" and began yelling at him and moving as if he were trying to get
    out of the car, reach for a weapon or both.
    >
    > "I felt threatened," he said. "I squirted mace at him-then I rode up to
    the light and got ready to turn left,"
    >
    > It was then that Collins' car crossed over from the right to hit
    Feinstein, police said.
    >
    > "He attempted to kill me," Feinstein said. "He accelerated and hit my bike
    throwing me off into the grill of a van coming the other way. The vehicle then also hit the van."
    >
    > Feinstein, who is a doctor at Cook County Hospital, said he suffered a
    bruised temporal bone, multiple cuts, hematomas and contusions, and a laceration over the eye that
    required six stitches. His custom Appalachian bike was totaled.
    >
    > ###
     
  8. I went to the Feinstein hearing yesterday. Val C., Dan K., Todd A., and David Callahan from CBF were
    also there. Lowell Feinstein was very appreciative of CM's support.

    The hearing ended with a hollow victory for Dr. Feinstein. Instead of the police charging Darick
    Collins with assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, they erroneously treated this road
    rage attack as a traffic accident. So Mr. Collins' charges were leaving the scene of an accident of
    an injured party, and driving without insurance.

    We questioned the State's Attorney about the discrepancy. She said they usually have to go with what
    the police determined when they made the report. She also said it would be hard to get a conviction
    for the more serious charges because it is difficult to prove intent, and also the defendant
    (Collins) has no priors.

    Mr. Collins had a public defender. I didn't get his name. The judge was Darryl Simko. Collins
    plead guilty to leaving the scene, but not guilty to driving without insurance. On July 15 he
    has to return to court and prove he had insurance at the time of the crime, Feb. 20, 2003. The
    fine for driving without insurance in Illinois... you better sit down when you hear this...
    $55. Yes, a whopping fifty-five American dollars. The fine for the second offense of driving
    without insurance jumps to a more appropriate $500. There is no other penalty for driving
    without insurance. The maximum penalty for leaving the scene with an injured party is one year
    in jail. Mr. Collins got 30 days of "discharge", in other words, zero days of jail time, and a
    $900 fine. Mr. Collins could not afford the $900 fine, so he accepted 10 days of "SWAP",
    Sheriff's Alternative Work Program. So his punishment for attempted murder of a cyclist will
    be cutting weeds along the highway and picking up litter for ten days under the watchful eye
    of a warted boss hog.

    Ms. Feinstein's bike was totally destroyed in the attack and he can seek recompense for it and
    his medical bills and pain and suffering in a civil suit. The victims advocate said it would
    be easier for Dr. Feinstein to win a civil case since the traffic court found Mr. Collins
    guilty. Of course without insurance coverage the ability to collect anything from Mr. Collins
    will be dubious.

    The case before Dr. Feinstein's was bizarre. A guy passed out in his Cadillac in the intersection of
    Sacramento and Augusta after midnight one night a year ago. The car was still in gear but he must
    have had his foot on the brake. He was so drunk the police couldn't wake him, and had to have the
    fire department remove him from the vehicle. He was too drunk to stand up and had to be propped up
    against a police car. He had a can of Old English 800 in his pocket. His eyes were bloodshot and he
    smelled of alcohol. And he had no driver's license. The lawyer argued that the state couldn't meet
    the burden of proof of DUI because his client was not given a field sobriety test. His client did
    fail a sobriety test later at the police station, but was too drunk to take the test on the street.
    No point in asking a drunk driver to walk a line when he can't stand up!

    It's very disheartening that besides subsidizing roads, cheap oil, and auto-related law enforcement,
    we also have to pay for the legal defense and associated legal system overhead of these slugs when
    they get in trouble.

    -Bob Matter
    -----------
    "It is said that the only time a person feels more important than the whole of his community is when
    he is insane -- or when he is driving. This is the basis of car culture, the idea that the world
    and all of the world's people are merely in its way."
    -- Travis Hugh Culley, _The Immortal Class_
     
  9. On Sat, 22 Mar 2003 15:45:32 GMT in rec.bicycles.misc, "Robert J. Matter"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The fine for driving without insurance in Illinois... you better sit down when you hear this...
    > $55. Yes, a whopping fifty-five American dollars. The fine for the second offense of driving
    > without insurance jumps to a more appropriate $500. There is no other penalty for driving without
    > insurance.

    at least they finally got serious in alaska. if they catch you driving without insurance, they
    suspend your license instantly. if the vehicle has been involved in an accident without insurance,
    the registration is revoked.

    if you get caught in the municipality of anchorage, they impound the uninsured vehicle until the
    owner proves it's insured. if you get caught driving in anchorage with a revoked or suspended
    license, the vehicle is forfeited.
     
  10. Dennis P. Harris <[email protected]> wrote:
    : at least they finally got serious in alaska. if they catch you driving without insurance, they
    : suspend your license instantly. if the vehicle has been involved in an accident without insurance,
    : the registration is revoked.

    nothing puts the fear of god into a minnesotan like an accident with a car sportin'
    wisconsin plates ..

    .. where liability insurance isn't mandatory.

    recall that the cheddar curtain is only 30 miles from the twin cities.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  11. Edward Dike

    Edward Dike Guest

    "David Reuteler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    | Dennis P. Harris <[email protected]> wrote:
    | : at least they finally got serious in alaska. if they catch you driving without insurance, they
    | : suspend your license instantly. if the vehicle has been involved in an accident without
    | : insurance, the registration is revoked.
    |
    | nothing puts the fear of god into a minnesotan like an accident with a car sportin' wisconsin
    | plates ..
    |
    | .. where liability insurance isn't mandatory.
    |
    | recall that the cheddar curtain is only 30 miles from the twin cities.
    | --
    | david reuteler [email protected]

    While no one knows the exact numbers, many in law enforcement, and the insurance industry suggest
    that the change to no-fault/mandatory liability insurance did little to reduce the number of
    uninsured motorists in MN.(Ask your agent about your uninsured motorist premium cost.) If I had to
    take my chances on recouping losses in an auto accident, I'd go with the cheesehead working in metro
    area(at least they are employed, and likely insured), as opposed to some of the characters flying
    around the inner city in their un-maintained trunk thumping cruisers at all hours of the day and
    night. ED3
     
  12. Edward Dike, III <[email protected]> wrote:
    : While no one knows the exact numbers, many in law enforcement, and the insurance industry suggest
    : that the change to no-fault/mandatory liability insurance did little to reduce the number of
    : uninsured motorists in MN. (Ask your agent about your uninsured motorist premium cost.)

    dude, i dunno. i do know that "while no one knows the exact numbers ... many ... suggest" isn't any
    better evidence of a point than what i said earlier or any anecdotal evidence i could bring up now
    (and won't).

    : If I had to take my chances on recouping losses in an auto accident, I'd go with the cheesehead
    : working in metro area(at least they are employed, and likely insured), as opposed to some of the
    : characters flying around the inner city in their un-maintained trunk thumping cruisers at all
    : hours of the day and night. ED3

    the stereotype wasn't employed cheeseheads, anyway, it was broke college students doing the
    reciprocity thing at the U of M. from them i'd probably be more worried about the 1am "run to the
    border" to wisconsin for the 2.30am bar-close in hudson, wisconsin, anyway.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
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