Monday, November 2, 2009

Victory for Omaha Cyclists!

Great news from Ben about his court appearance today!!

The man that physically assauled Ben after a car vs. bike road rage incident last spring plead guilty today to misdemeanor Assault and Battery and was sentenced to 90 days of probation.

Here is the icing on the cake ... and bless Ben's heart, he totally gets that this is the biggest victory of all, even though he had to endure what he did ... the judge totally affirmed Ben's rights as a cyclist and actually referred to his preferred mode of transportation as a "two-wheeled vehicle." AWESOME!!

So - first and foremost: major kudos to Ben for keeping his cool in the first place in the face of felony behavior. Kudos to the witnesses that came forward and to OPD for understanding his rights as a cyclist that day; and kudos to the judge. A victory for all Omaha cyclists today!!


AOJules said...

Forgot to add: Ben did not receive any monetary damages. Ironically, he was, however, eligible to be reimbursed for his mileage to get to court. Naturally, Ben rode his bike. :) Small price to pay for affirmation!?

Steve said...

Sweet outcome to a messed up situation. Now we just need get drivers to stop hitting cyclists - three of my friends in just the last month.

erik said...

a press release is needed, this needs to be covered well to help improve things for all cyclists who put up with ignorance everyday at the risk of their lives.

i'm glad ben is ok, hopefully if he needs compensation that can be addressed in claims court.

The D said...

Bravo Ben.
Agreeing with Erik...we need to be knocking down our local media's doors with this.

Scott Redd said...

Maybe Activate Omaha could craft a press release to send to the media.

For what it's worth, I did submit some info to WOWT and the World-Herald, but an official press release would carry more weight.

I wonder if Tom Becka would like to talk about this. He all but rallies people to this kind of behavior. Heck, maybe the felon was listening to Becka at the time.

erik said...

Scott, you're absolutely right. Hopefully activate Omaha or an advocate with more info can draft a formal release (heck, even Ben?).

I also agree that somebody should confront Tom about the climate of incivility he helped engender over the past year. Definitely reprehensible. Absolutely contradictory to the law, and this was what was emphasized in local court today (though that there could be any doubt about the judge's recognition of state law is scary!)

This could generate significant public awareness, as well as impart some weight behind efforts to get more than a few blocks of bike lanes. Thank you to anyone who can make anything like that happen.

The Lucas said...

I am somewhat blown away that I never heard anything on this. I don't follow news, but this went unnoticed to me until today.

I am glad to hear this came out to a "Victory," but I wish I knew more of the situation and what all went down. -As this may help me keep my cool in such a situation. For example what would be considered provoking a person in a large metal vehicle? I ride fast, and I ride hard. I consider traffic fun, but I still follow rules. I can't figure out what would be considered provoking.

Is there more info on this somewhere?

AOJules said...

We're working on getting more official details; we have been contacted by a reporter and are working to get them connected with Ben. I'm not sure if there has been any press about this before now.

This is really Ben's story to tell. If there isn't any "official" press coverage, we'll see if he's comfortable doing something for the blog.

AOJules said...

Please note the correction to our post. Apparently there was some confusion as to the charges vs. the plea.

The incident is not in question, however, and we are glad that justice was served! There is still potential press coming about the issue of road rage directed at cyclists.

Sorry for the confusion, but still glad for the outcome!