Friday, October 30, 2009

Fuck him!!!!

LA road-rage trial closing arguments wrap up

By Patrick Brady
Published: Oct. 30, 2009
Road Rage Trial: Thompson's rear window after the July 4 incident.
Road Rage Trial: Thompson's rear window after the July 4 incident.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys made closing arguments Thursday in Los Angeles, in the trial of a former emergency room doctor accused of injuring two cyclists when he stopped his car suddenly in front of them.

Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson's attorney said it was all an accident. "This was not an attempt to hurt anyone."

Deputy District Attorney Mary Stone said Thompson's actions "crossed a line you cannot cross."

Thompson is accused of assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving causing specified bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and mayhem. The most serious charges stem from a July 4, 2008, incident on the road where Thompson lives. Other charges relate to a similar incident on the same road that did not result in injuries.

Stone said that, in the earlier incident, Thompson had three options when he caught up to cyclists Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby as they descended Mandeville Canyon Road. He could have driven behind the two cyclists at 30 mph (the speed limit and the cyclists' speed according to GPS data) or he could have passed them and kept driving. Instead, he passed them and then stopped, later saying that he wanted to take a picture, a claim Stone called “patently ridiculous.”

In that incident, Watson and Crosby said they narrowly avoiding hitting the rear of Thompson's Infiniti sedan when he stopped.

Stone played Thompson’s 911 call, from after the July 4 incident, once again for the jurors. Jurors heard Thompson tell the operator, “They said fuck you; I slammed on my brakes.”

On the tape the operator asked Thompson if the injuries were serious, and he said, “They’ll tell you they are, but they’re not.”

“What a callous statement is that?” Stone asked. “He had no right to make that statement."

Stone reminded the jury how the first police officer to arrive testified that Thompson told him: “I wanted to teach (the cyclists) a lesson,” and “I’m tired of them.”

Those words did not fit with the profile of a man who, as an MD, “knows the fragility of the human body,” Stone told the jury.

Defense closing

Defense attorney Peter Swarth began by putting a sheet of paper on an overhead projector. It had a single word, “accident.”

“This was an accident that could happen to anyone,” he said.

Swarth portrayed the cyclists as at fault; they “endangered (Thompson) by not allowing him to pass,” he said.

“If you have even a feather of doubt, then you have reasonable doubt and you must acquit,” Thompson said.

In regard to the Fourth of July incident, Swarth asked the jury, “Where is the evidence of anger? The injury doesn’t make this criminal.”

He accused Ron Peterson and Christian Stoehr, the riders in the July 4 incident, of being dishonest and said of Stoehr, “He looked back at his friend Ron Peterson; he lost his balance and fell.”

Of Peterson (a cycling coach) he said, “This teacher, teaching his student about the dangers of the road, teaches him about anger.”

He referenced Stone’s statements about the permanence of Peterson and Stoehr’s injuries and then asked the jury, “Where does Dr. Thompson go to get his reputation back?

Next, he asked, “If you’re in a rage why are you going to get out of your car and call 911?”

Speaking of the 911 recording, Swarth said, “Did he choose the best words? No. This was not an attempt to hurt anyone. He wanted to get a photo.”

Swarth sought to convince the jury that Thompson was actively seeking to create a safer situation. “The universe is like that ... the thing you seek to avoid becomes the thing you can’t avoid.”

“The facts in this case don’t add up to a criminal act.”

The final word

In Stone’s rebuttal, she laid out an allegory of sorts, re-telling the three Mandeville Canyon incidents the prosecution presented during the trial.

First, she goes to a Trader Joe’s. Goes to the aisle where they have granola she wants. Someone is in the way, preventing her from getting her granola, so she swings a bat at the person, but doesn't hit him. With that, Stone held up a baseball bat, swinging in an abrupt arc.

Weeks go by. She returns to the Trader Joe’s and again there’s someone in the way, someone preventing her from getting her granola. This time she swings the bat at them and they duck just out of the way.

A few more weeks go by and she’s back at Trader Joe’s. Someone, she said, “is in my aisle, blocking me from my granola. So I blast his nose with my bat.”

“But of course, I get arrested.”

Then, donning a white doctor’s coat, she said, “But I shroud myself in this because I want to deflect what I did.”

What's next?

The court is closed Friday. A jury verdict is expected early next week. If convicted of all charges, Thompson could spend up to five years in prison.

USA Cycling Professional Championships to be contested three weeks later than previous editions in Greenville

USA Cycling Professional Championships to be contested three weeks later than previous editions in Greenville

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 29, 2009) – The Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships will return to Greenville, S.C. for a fifth consecutive year in 2010, with new dates set for September 18-19, 2010. The Championship weekend features the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship on Saturday and the USA Cycling Professional Road Race Championship on Sunday.

USA Cycling, which owns and sanctions the event, has extended the licensing agreement for 2010 with Medalist Sports, a sports management company that specializes in the planning, promotion and production of professional cycling and fundraising events. Medalist Sports has produced the Championships since 2006. The Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships is part of the USA Cycling Professional Tour, a men’s-only, season-long calendar comprised of UCI events that determines the best professional rider and team on American soil. It is also one of 17 national championship events that USA Cycling, Inc. sanctions across five disciplines in the sport for amateurs and professionals.

“We appreciate the ongoing support of the city of Greenville and the Greenville Hospital System,” said Sean Petty, USA Cycling chief operating officer. “We also appreciate Greenville’s understanding and flexibility in adjusting the dates for the 2010 event. While the date change was out of our hands, the result is a good one as U.S. riders who are preparing for the World Championships will have the ability to do quality, final preparation at North American events starting with Tour of Missouri, followed by the Canadian Pro Tour events and the USA Cycling Pro Championships.”

The USA Cycling Professional Championships will be contested three weeks later than the previous editions in Greenville. The date change was precipitated by a number of changes to the international racing calendar. In 2010, two new UCI-sanctioned Pro Tour events have been scheduled in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada (September 10 and 12, respectfully), thus shifting the Tour of Missouri, to August 30 – September 5th. The USA Cycling Professional Championships will be followed by the UCI Road World Championships, scheduled for September 29 – October 3, in Melbourne, Australia.

“I’m very excited that the USA Cycling Professional Championships are coming back to Greenville for 2010 and the new dates should fit nicely into a very exciting fall schedule,” said George Hincapie. “I’m proud to have won the Championship for the third time and I’m looking forward to defending the title with my new team, BMC Racing. The only thing better than winning the stars-and-stripes jersey is being able to wear that jersey for the entire racing season. With my new team, I will focus on the spring classics, and the fall will be my second priority. It looks like my season will end up with great races like the Tour of Missouri, the new Canadian Pro Tour events, the US Pro Championships and the World Championships.”

Medalist Sports also announced today results and a summary of the 2009 event.
o David Zabriskie (Salt Lake City, UT; Team Garmin - Slipstream) repeats as USA Cycling Professional Individual Time Trial Champion
o George Hincapie (Greenville, SC; Team Highroad – HTC) wins as USA Cycling Professional Road Race Champion
o Greenville Hospital System as Title Sponsor and Duke Energy as Presenting Sponsor
o Over 80,000 spectators attended the event weekend
o Over $120,000 raised for charity by the Palmetto Peloton Project (over $400,000 in four years) by 750 riders, who represented 21 states and two countries
o Over 120 credentialed, national media covered the event
o Live television coverage in partnership with WYFF-4 (NBC)
o Website visits from all 50 states and 130 countries
o Partnership with the US Handcycling Federation (USHF)

“The amazing community support since being awarded the Championships in 2006 is one of the main reasons to stage the event in the Upstate for another year. In addition to world-class courses, a strong foundation has been built with the help of partners such as the Greenville Hospital System, Duke Energy, the City of Greenville and Greenville County,” said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports. “These Championships provide a first-class venue for the best professional cyclists in the country, and has now become an annual tradition for the Greenville community.”

Additional details regarding activities and event schedule for the 2010 Championships will be announced at a later date. All updates will be made available at the official website

Photo caption: Nearly 200 of the nation’s best professional cyclists took to the start of the Greenville Hospital Systems USA Cycling Professional Championships on Sunday, Aug. 30 in downtown Greenville, S.C.
Photo credit: Casey B. Gibson/USA Cycling

Medalist Sports is a full-service international sports management company. Medalist Sports specializes in the planning, promotion and marketing of multi-day, multi-jurisdiction sports and fundraising events. The Medalist Sports team has experience in all facets of the successful management and promotion of world-class sporting and cycling events in the United States, Australia and China. Clients and event experience include the Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Missouri, USA Cycling, Inc. and the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LIVESTRONG Challenge Series. Medalist Sports’ headquarters are located south of metro Atlanta, Georgia. The company website is

Greenville Hospital System is one of the Southeast’s leading healthcare providers, nationally recognized for advanced technology, innovative research and teaching excellence. The system's five campuses include a Level I trauma center, three acute-care hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities. GHS’ Cancer Center offers the region’s broadest array of cancer specialists, many working through the Oncology Multidisciplinary Center. This multidisciplinary approach to the effective management of cancer allows patients to meet with a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist to receive a comprehensive treatment plan all in one day. More information is available at

The Palmetto Peloton Project (P3), based in Greenville, S.C., exists to promote the advancement of cancer research and advocacy efforts locally, regionally and nationally through fundraising cycling events. Through support from local businesses and enthusiastic cyclists, the Palmetto Peloton Project has raised over $400,000 for cancer research and advocacy since its inception in 2005. In 2009 as part of the Greenville Hospital System USA Cycling Professional Championships, P3 will host the “Stars and Stripes Challenge” for a fourth year, a recreational cycling event to support local cancer research. For more information, visit

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ licensees including 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 1,800 clubs and teams, 350 professional cyclists, 200 certified mechanics, and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists through various initiatives and programs. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts national championship events for all categories of amateur and professional cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit

United States Handcycling Federation, is an association of individuals and organizations that creates integrated cycling opportunities for wheelchair users and athletes with lower-mobility impairments, including disabled veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S Handcycling Series, presented by the Paralyzed Veteran's of America, is the premier Para-Cycling racing series in North America and will feature more than 150 of the World’s top cyclists with disabilities, racing at major – integrated – cycling events across America. Shining the spotlight on the elite athleticism of Paralympic cyclists, this series focuses on the “ability” rather than the “disability” of its participants, most notably disabled veterans. Visit

Friday, October 23, 2009

responce from a USA today article...

These bike riders that ride in the middle of the road are just plain stupid for playing in traffic.And then they wonder why they get hit. Lots of big fast moving vehicles wizzing by that will send them flying. That little bike helmet will crack open like an egg shell along with your skull. These idiots on the bikes that got run over and killed were riding on a road with no shoulder. Very bad idea.. My buddy has a lifted F-350 diesel and comes around a blind turn and there they were. Like a couple of squirrels in the road waiting to get squashed. He just crushed the one and the other went flying 30 feet head first into a tree. Both dead on impact. There was chunks of flesh and clothing on his bumper. But he was lucky he didn't get hurt When you ride your bicycles like that on roads with no shoulders where cars are going 50 mph you are going to end up a red skid mark of road kill. Somebody texting or talking on their cell phone can take you out and turn you into road kill in an instant.

Yup - that's america for ya -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From Velonews

'I want to teach them a lesson." — Road rage trial resumes.

LAPD investigator tells jury in road rage trial he was shocked at a driver's comments.

By Patrick Brady
Published: Oct. 22, 2009

A traffic investigator told jurors in the Los Angeles road rage trial this week that a driver’s comment at the scene of the incident “was so shocking his words burned into my brain.”

Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson is on trial in Los Angeles Superior Court for assault and other charges related to an incident on a narrow canyon road involving two cyclists on the Fourth of July, 2008. Thompson also faces charges related to a similar, earlier, incident on the same road, involving a different cyclist. If convicted of all charges, Thompson could spend up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors say that after a brief exchange of words on the Fourth, Thompson passed the two cyclists then slammed on his brakes, causing the riders to crash into the rear his car.

On Tuesday, the jury heard testimony from a Los Angeles police traffic investigator, a doctor who treated the cyclists at the scene and a plastic surgeon who operated on one of the cyclists’ broken nose. The testimony was graphic enough that one juror had to leave the court room for a few minutes after feeling faint. Jurors also heard from the cyclist who says he had the earlier encounter with Thompson.

After a break Wednesday, testimony resumes Thursday.

’Burned into my brain’

LAPD traffic investigator Robert Rodriguez said he arrived at the scene on Mandeville Canyon Road with the fire department and asked Thompson what happened.

According to Rodriguez, Thompson said, “I just live up the road. I was driving to go to work. The bikers were in front of me, three across. I honked my horn and yelled ‘ride single file.’ The bicyclists flipped me off and yelled back. I passed them up and stopped in front to teach them a lesson. I’m tired of them. I’ve lived here for years and they always ride like this.”

Thompson’s attorney, Peter Swarth, questioned Rodriguez extensively about how he could recall the exact words, since Rodriguez did not write them down for more than 90 minutes.

Later, Deputy District Attorney Mary Stone asked Rodriguez in re-direct examination how he was able to remember.

Rodriguez replied, “That statement was so shocking his words burned into my brain.”

Stone asked, “Have you ever been to a collision where someone said they wanted to teach that person a lesson?”

“Never,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said that after Thompson’s comments, he decided the incident was assault with a deadly weapon and called the department’s patrol division to take over the investigation.

Samaritan neighbor

Physician Bruce Rogen later testified that he came upon the scene while driving up the canyon to his home that morning.

Rogen said he approached Peterson, who was “sitting cross-legged leaning forward dripping blood. The piece of cloth to his face was sodden with blood. There was a fair amount of trauma. I identified myself as a doctor and asked a few questions. I was concerned there could be more damage.”

Rogen checked Peterson for a head injury. He checked the injury to Peterson’s nose and removed his own shirt and used it to apply pressure to the wound.

In listening to the description of Peterson’s blood loss, one juror began feeling faint and court was recessed for five minutes.

On cross-examination, Swarth asked Rogen about any exchange he had with Thompson and with the cyclists regarding Thompson — a former emergency room physician.

“(The cyclists) didn’t want him to treat them,” he said. “They didn’t want him nearby." Asked to describe Thompson, he said, “He seemed agitated, anxious.”

Surgeon testifies

Geoffrey Keyes is the plastic surgeon who operated on Peterson. In his testimony he said Peterson’s injuries included a broken nose and broken internal structures as well as scars on his lip, chin and nose. He needed nasal septul reconstruction.

The surgery was performed under general anesthesia, required re-breaking the nose and using chisels to shape the bone and took an hour and half to complete. Displays included photographs taken before and after the surgery.

The earlier incident

Final testimony on the day came from Patrick Watson, a former professional adventure racer who filed charges against Thompson for an alleged incident that occurred in March, 2008.

Watson said he and training partner Josh Crosby were descending at roughly 30 mph —the speed limit for the road — when Thompson approached from behind. Crosby and Watson moved to ride single file, he said.

Watson said, “The car came so fast and so close I had to jump off the road. I did a bunny hop up the curb into the grass. When I jumped back on the road Thompson slammed on his brakes.”

Watson said he bunny hopped back onto the curb and stopped. He got off his bike and leaned it against a fence.

“(Thompson) drove straight at me and then he drove off,” he said.

Watson contacted the police and attempted to press charges, but ultimately, no charges were filed.

Asked by Stone why he contacted the district attorney, Watson said, “I wanted to make sure they did something this time.”