It appears that a road rage assault on two riders is proceeding
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.
investigator Robert Rodriguez said he arrived at the scene on
Mandeville Canyon Road with the fire department and asked Thompson
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."
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?"
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
I'm waiting for Bob
Mionske to give his take