It's not assault

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by RWD, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. RWD

    RWD Guest

    According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    injured. She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?
     
    Tags:


  2. Rich

    Rich Guest

    RWD wrote:

    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > long as you miss.


    I'm really not surprised, as the motorist could simply argue "Cyclist?
    What cyclist? I didn't see any cyclist>".

    I've had a can thrown at me twice in the last two years. Both times
    from what appeared to be the same car. It sucks that there's not much
    that can be done about it.

    Rich
     
  3. RWD wrote:
    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    > vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    > dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    > injured. She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    > case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    > absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?


    It is NOT true that one must be injured to file an assault charge. No
    harmful physical contact need have happened. (This element is what
    differentiates assault from battery.) The difficulty with getting a
    conviction for assalt is proving that all the necessary conditions were
    met. Usually, the only difficult one to prove is intent. I believe this
    will be true in your case; as poster Rich says, this person could
    simply argue that he hadn't seen you. You may find this link helpful:

    http://velonews.com/news/fea/9204.0.html

    For my part, I once had a beer can thrown at me by a passenger in a car
    which was stopped for a red light at a busy intersection. It was easy
    for me to note the make, model, and license plate number. I even
    happened to have an empty plastic bag with me, and collected the
    fingerprint-laden projectile. The police gave me the impression that no
    civil crime had been committed (and, while I don't condone littering, I
    was not concerned with getting this person cited for that). Ultimately,
    I ended up not pursuing any legal action. It wasn't worth what it would
    cost me in time or the protraction of the disturbance of my peace. Ride
    on!
     
  4. peter

    peter Guest

    RWD wrote:
    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    > vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    > dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    > injured.


    Somehow I have the feeling that if you were to take the bottle in
    question and throw it so it barely misses the head of a patrolman on
    the street that they'd quickly be able to determine the relevant
    statute. [Not that I recommend this approach to jogging their memory.]

    > She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    > case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    > absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?


    You could contact the District Attorney's office and see if they're
    willing to take any action. Were there any 'neutral' witnesses to the
    act? Otherwise it would be hard to meet the proof beyond a reasonable
    doubt standard for criminal prosecutions.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob Guest

    RWD wrote:
    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    > vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    > dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    > injured. She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    > case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    > absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?


    The dispatcher was wrong. Go to the station and file a report. Calling
    on the phone does not constitute a "report" in the legal sense.

    Regards
    Bob Hunt

    BTW, you may be an alleged victim and you may be the cyclist making the
    allegation but that doesn't make you an "alleged cyclist" ;-)
     
  6. Pat in TX

    Pat in TX Guest


    >
    > BTW, you may be an alleged victim and you may be the cyclist making the
    > allegation but that doesn't make you an "alleged cyclist" ;-)


    How do you know? have you seen him attempt to ride a bike? :)

    Pat
    >
     
  7. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Pat in TX wrote:
    > >
    > > BTW, you may be an alleged victim and you may be the cyclist making the
    > > allegation but that doesn't make you an "alleged cyclist" ;-)

    >
    > How do you know? have you seen him attempt to ride a bike? :)
    >
    > Pat
    > >


    An inability to ride, not making an allegation of assault, would make
    him an "alleged" cyclist but I see your point. <g>

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  8. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > RWD wrote:
    >> According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    >> a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    >> long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    >> vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    >> dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    >> injured. She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    >> case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    >> absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?

    >
    > The dispatcher was wrong. Go to the station and file a report. Calling
    > on the phone does not constitute a "report" in the legal sense.
    >
    > Regards
    > Bob Hunt
    >
    >(clip) BTW, you may be an alleged victim and you may be the cyclist making
    >the allegation but that doesn't make you an "alleged cyclist" ;-)

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    If you report the crime, or tell someone about it, you are *alleging* that
    it took place, so. to them you are the "alleged victim." Since you ARE the
    victim, with first-hand knowledge, you not the alleged victim. You are not
    relying on an allegation of the facts.
     
  9. di

    di Guest

    "RWD" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > long as you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full
    > vehicle description and license number to the police, but the
    > dispatcher said I couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't
    > injured. She said the best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in
    > case the perps happened to drive through the area again. I find this
    > absurd. Do I have any other (legal) options?


    I thought if they threw something at you it was "assault", if they hit you
    it was "assault & battery".
     
  10. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Leo Lichtman wrote:

    > "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message


    > >(clip) BTW, you may be an alleged victim and you may be the cyclist making
    > >the allegation but that doesn't make you an "alleged cyclist" ;-)

    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > If you report the crime, or tell someone about it, you are *alleging* that
    > it took place, so. to them you are the "alleged victim." Since you ARE the
    > victim, with first-hand knowledge, you not the alleged victim. You are not
    > relying on an allegation of the facts.


    And since I wasn't referring to myself but addressing someone who has
    alleged that they are the victim of a crime my usage was correct. (This
    is all in good fun BTW.)

    Regards,
    Bob Hunt
     
  11. Well, this was in San Diego. Last I heard, the City Attorney prosecutes
    the misdemeanors here, and right now that's Mike Aguirre, who's got
    time to spare now that he's making nice with Mayor Saunders.. Go to the
    police station to file a complaint -- or call Mike Aguirre's office!
    RWD wrote:Stuff.
     
  12. Pat in TX

    Pat in TX Guest


    >> If you report the crime, or tell someone about it, you are *alleging*
    >> that
    >> it took place, so. to them you are the "alleged victim." Since you ARE
    >> the
    >> victim, with first-hand knowledge, you not the alleged victim. You are
    >> not
    >> relying on an allegation of the facts.

    >
    > And since I wasn't referring to myself but addressing someone who has
    > alleged that they are the victim of a crime my usage was correct. (This
    > is all in good fun BTW.)
    >
    > Regards,
    > Bob Hunt


    I have a headache now.

    Pat
    >
     
  13. RWD

    RWD Guest

    [email protected] wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > <snip>
    >
    > So I said to the DA, "Whatever this guy did that was bargained
    > down to disorderly conduct by guys like you was I'm sure much more
    > serious than any hi-jinks you and your buddies may have done at
    > college. What sort of car do you have? An old Volvo? That's not
    > worth that much, and I have no prior record of any sort. So I
    > guess I can go out to the parking lot and steal your car with
    > impunity, right?"
    >
    > <snip again>
    >
    > I also sometimes think it is quite acceptable to invite
    > confrontation. The cops might not care about someone throwing a
    > bottle at you, but if you get the driver to stop, and threaten
    > you, that is a different story. Could be dangerous, but most
    > people are all talk when it comes to real confrontations.
    >


    Hey, watch it with the Volvo jokes.

    Given the three-against-one odds and the potential for any of the
    vehicle occupants to be carrying weapons, I opted against
    confrontation. It's great to fantasize about such face-offs but in the
    real world it could prove to be a very poor choice.

    RWD
     
  14. Rich

    Rich Guest

    RWD wrote:

    >>I also sometimes think it is quite acceptable to invite
    >>confrontation.


    > Given the three-against-one odds and the potential for any of the
    > vehicle occupants to be carrying weapons, I opted against
    > confrontation. It's great to fantasize about such face-offs but in the
    > real world it could prove to be a very poor choice.


    Agreed. Regardless of the odds, confrontation with a driver rarely
    solves any problems.

    Rich
     
  15. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > For my part, I once had a beer can thrown at me by a passenger in a car
    > which was stopped for a red light at a busy intersection. It was easy
    > for me to note the make, model, and license plate number. I even
    > happened to have an empty plastic bag with me, and collected the
    > fingerprint-laden projectile. The police gave me the impression that no
    > civil crime had been committed (and, while I don't condone littering, I
    > was not concerned with getting this person cited for that). Ultimately,
    > I ended up not pursuing any legal action. It wasn't worth what it would
    > cost me in time or the protraction of the disturbance of my peace. Ride
    > on!
    >


    Don't forget they got Al Capone on tax evasion, so maybe getting the
    passenger cited for littering, will simply mean that next time he has a
    beer can to get rid of, he will dispose of it properly. Saving you the
    problem of getting in the way of the projectile.

    W
     
  16. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 20:42:46 +0000, RWD wrote:

    > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw a
    > full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as long as
    > you miss. (I'm the alleged cyclist.) I reported a full vehicle
    > description and license number to the police, but the dispatcher said I
    > couldn't file an assault charge because I wasn't injured. She said the
    > best she could do was "air it out to patrol" in case the perps happened to
    > drive through the area again. I find this absurd. Do I have any other
    > (legal) options?


    It is a crime to throw things from a moving vehicle, and if it's thrown at
    you it's an assault. But unless there's evidence, witnesses, etc., no
    police dept. can do anything for you.

    They can, however, take a report, and keep it in their notes, in case they
    get another complaint about a vehicle meeting your description.

    Matt O.
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 20:24:32 +0000, RWD wrote:

    > Given the three-against-one odds and the potential for any of the vehicle
    > occupants to be carrying weapons, I opted against confrontation. It's
    > great to fantasize about such face-offs but in the real world it could
    > prove to be a very poor choice.


    Indeed. Trying to call someone's bluff is a really bad idea. I heard a
    radio interview with a writer from CSI (a TV crime show). He accompanied
    detectives on investigations while doing research for the show. Many
    witnesses actually reported hearing the victim challenge their assailant
    to "go ahead and shoot me," or something to that effect, just before shots
    were fired. Apparently this situation is disturbingly common. When life
    imitates television, it just doesn't work.

    Matt O.
     
  18. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "Matt O'Toole" wrote: (clip) it's an assault. But unless there's evidence,
    witnesses, etc., no police dept. can do anything for you. (clip)
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Why wouldn't RWD be a witness? Suppose RWD had been shot at from a car, and
    came in to the police withthe same info--description, license number, etc.
    Would the response have been, "We can't do anything for you because they
    missed?"
     
  19. The Wogster wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> For my part, I once had a beer can thrown at me by a passenger in a car
    >> which was stopped for a red light at a busy intersection. It was easy
    >> for me to note the make, model, and license plate number. I even
    >> happened to have an empty plastic bag with me, and collected the
    >> fingerprint-laden projectile. The police gave me the impression that no
    >> civil crime had been committed (and, while I don't condone littering, I
    >> was not concerned with getting this person cited for that). Ultimately,
    >> I ended up not pursuing any legal action. It wasn't worth what it would
    >> cost me in time or the protraction of the disturbance of my peace. Ride
    >> on!
    >>

    >
    > Don't forget they got Al Capone on tax evasion, so maybe getting the
    > passenger cited for littering, will simply mean that next time he has a
    > beer can to get rid of, he will dispose of it properly. Saving you the
    > problem of getting in the way of the projectile.
    >
    > W

    Uh ... open container laws?
     
  20. H M Leary

    H M Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Rich <[email protected]> wrote:

    > RWD wrote:
    >
    > > According to the San Diego Police Department, it's not a crime to throw
    > > a full quart-sized soda bottle from a moving vehicle at a cyclist as
    > > long as you miss.

    >
    > I'm really not surprised, as the motorist could simply argue "Cyclist?
    > What cyclist? I didn't see any cyclist>".
    >
    > I've had a can thrown at me twice in the last two years. Both times
    > from what appeared to be the same car. It sucks that there's not much
    > that can be done about it.
    >
    > Rich


    All of these posts prove that you should ALWAYS ride with an attorney
    who has a vcr turned on you....:)


    HAND
     
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