Friday, November 11, 2005


Apparently, there's a new sport out called Shoot the Cyclist with a Pellet Gun or Paintball Gun. A couple of things to keep in mind if this is your sport of choice, though (from a friend at RBR)...

I just wanted to let you all know about an incident I was involved in a week ago today.

Recently, I equipped my old mountain bike with a set of street/trail
Conti's and a rear rack to minimize the use of my 11 mpg gas hog
pickup truck. Three bucks a gallon in that thing makes going to the
grocery store more expensive than the groceries themselves. Now that my time in the saddle seems to be increasing, I am also seeing a proportionate increase in the hostility against cyclists that we are all painfully familiar with.

Last Tuesday, while I was commuting from my house in Arden to the YMCA in Biltmore Park, I was shot in the back with what is known as an Airsoft BB (or pellet) gun. The passenger of a passing car on Hendersonville Highway fired one off and, as the car kept heading north, laughed as he looked at me in the rear view mirror. I am reminded of a few rules in life that were violated here:

Rule One: Don't shoot bicyclists with guns of any kind.

Rule Two: If you opt to violate Rule One, make sure the cyclist is
not a State Trooper.

Rule Three: If you violate Rule One without regard to Rule Two, make sure it's a fat State Trooper and not one who has just come back from a national track competition and still has kick in his legs.

Details of what followed will not be posted here because of the
pending criminal charges and I don't want to say anything that could provide any excuse for a defense attorney to make a fuss over during any upcoming trial. (I've probably said more than I should already.)

But the long story short is that, because of heavy traffic and a set
of highly motivated legs, I was able to overtake the suspect(s) and
gather enough information to follow up with an arrest warrant for
simple assault.

Simple assault is not a serious charge, but it sure gets the
attention of a set of students from a local high school who never
expected much to come from their mid-morning truancy and risky
antics. I have also discovered that high school principals are not
amused with the prospect of their students bringing weapons of any sort onto the school grounds. This, too, occasionally results in
arrest warrants and expulsion proceedings.

As a closing note, let me advise all of you who may experience
similar assaults that the key to making such a case is not just
getting the license plate number, but also being able to identify the
assailant (and/or driver). I still could have made this arrest
without seeing the driver and his passenger simply because of at
least one set of parents and school personnel that took the matter
seriously. If, like me, you are able to overtake anyone who assails
you or commits some other criminal offense against you, do not lose your temper and commit the assaults that many have told me I should have done. To be sure, what I wanted to do would have resulted in MY arrest and the probable loss of my job. You could also be further injured yourself if things go bad and, ultimately, the criminal charges against your assailant would have to be negotiated to the point of dismissal.

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