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Mandeville Mandate: Raging Doctor Convicted

November 2, 2009
tags: , ,

mandevilleIt’s been a year and a half, but now the wheels of justice are beginning to turn, and things don’t look good for vehicular assaultist Dr. Christopher Thompson. It seems the (not so) good doctor has been found guilty of criminal assault in connection with his misdeeds the morning of July 4, 2008. Aurisha Smolarski, the LACBC associate who has a part time job keeping my inbox full, gives the details:

Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson, the physician who seriously injured 2 cyclists with his car on Mandeville Canyon Road last summer has been found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon on 7 counts:

01 23105(A) VC RECKLESS DRIVING CAUSNG INJURY
02 243(D) PC BATTERY W/SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
03 243(D) PC BATTERY W/SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
04 23103(A) VC RECKLESS DRIVING HIGHWAY
05 245(A)(1) PC ASSAULT W DEADLY WEAPON/INSTR.
06 245(A)(1) PC ASSAULT W DEADLY WEAPON/INSTR.
07 203 PC MAYHEM

The Judge has refused bail.

The district attorneys office took this case very seriously. Deputy DA Mary Stone did an exemplary job laying out the facts of the case. These convictions should send a very strong message to any aggressive motorist who would use their vehicle as a weapon.

This shows that cyclists’ rights are not just a matter of opinion, but a matter of law!

Drop the confetti! This is certainly good news for LA’s cyclists, as it is a concrete indicator that the legal system takes bicyclists seriously – it’s always good to have a bit of stare decisis on our side. But it remains to be seen how the Mandeville decision will really affect cycling, in LA and around the country. Though bicyclists cheer the verdict, I’d bet good money that Thompson’s old money cohorts back in Mandeville aren’t exactly celebrating along with them. While the potential for ill will to exist on either side of the issue, it’s important for both bikers and drivers to remember that it was justice that was done today, not vengeance.

The LA Times has run a large “bike safety” article, with advice for bikers and drivers. Let’s hope that the decision is not a step toward car vs. bike animosity, but to the greater level of bike/car cooperation we’d all like to see.

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