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Why a woman arrested for assaulting a man with her car was let go

Posted by on April 7th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The story quickly generated over
500 comments on OregonLive.com.

Friday’s story about a woman who was arrested for intentionally driving her car into a man riding a bicycle in downtown Portland raised a lot of eyebrows and emotions.

The Oregonian’s story — which includes photos and a video of the man who was hit — has over 500 comments.

The headline alone is eye-catching enough, but several developments made it an even bigger story. Just a few hours after her arrest, the driver, Julia Geday, was released from custody. It also became known that the man who was on the bike, Brian Groce, has a prior criminal record. Once these facts leaked out into the public they set off a predictable dialogue about who’s worse — people who drive or people who ride. Even our comment thread veered off into the deep end and I had to spend part of my Sunday morning cleaning things up. I eventually closed comments on the story.

I followed up with the District Attorney’s office this morning in order to find out exactly where things stand with the case.

The reason this case was different than most others is that the responding police officers determined at the scene that Geday’s driving behavior was an intentional act meant to harm Groce. Keep in mind that the law says officers only need “probable cause” (or 51% confidence that the person is guilty) in order to make an arrest. The officers on scene Friday made their determination based on versions of the story from both people involved and from a few witnesses who saw it happen.


Geday was charged with assault and booked into jail.

“There are a lot of things that need to be looked at,”
— Don Rees, Multnomah County Chief Deputy DA

Because the collision was deemed an intentional act, the case was turned over to detectives and eventually given to the District Attorney’s office. While police need only probable cause to make an arrest, the DA has to meet a much higher threshold — “beyond a reasonable doubt” — in order to make charges stick and move a case forward. According to the DA’s office, they do not currently have enough information to hold Geday, so she has been let go while the investigation continues.

Chief Deputy DA Don Rees told me this morning that, “The reviewing DA determined that more evidence was needed to create a case that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court.” There could be many factors for this decision. Currently, Geday and Groce tell different versions of what happened and witness statements might be lacking in key details.

Rees said two Portland police detectives have returned to the scene this morning to take photos. They’ll also re-contact witnesses in order to do more in-depth interviews. Meanwhile, the DA’s office will meet with Groce to see if he’d like to formally pursue criminal charges. “There are a lot of things that need to be looked at,” Rees said.

Speaking of Groce, his background adds another layer to this case. Since 2010 he’s been arrested four times, including a serious assault charge involving “unlawful use of a weapon.” Having a prior record doesn’t automatically change the narrative about who might be at fault for the collision. However, if the DA decides to take the case to a Grand Jury, you can bet Groce’s background would hurt his credibility and the case against Geday.

With the investigation ongoing, it could be a week or two before the DA looks at any new information and makes a decision on how — or if — to pursue criminal charges.

While it seemed black and white at first, this case is now in much more of grey area. It should serve as yet another reminder that things are often not what they first seem when it comes to traffic interactions.

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Comments
  • q`Tzal April 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    “Unlawful use of a weapon” covers the obvious weapons (wouldn’t firearms have their own law?) but also could mean bike locks or chain swung as a weapon or anything intentionally used to damage the paint job of a car.
    It could probably cover pepper spray shot in a car window, paint balloons thrown at a windshield, caltrops, homemade spike strips or any other improvised implement.

    “weapon” is open to a lot of interpretation.

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    • Charley April 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      That’s a lot of leading speculation, right there.

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      • q`Tzal April 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        Yes it is,
        You’re speculating that I was accusing him of using a specific weapon in his past arrests that are on the official record.

        Instead it is more of a cautionary warning to those of us with vigilante leanings that almost anything could be considered a weapon if you used it as such. Swinging U-locks and bike chains is something I learned about on THIS WEBSITE back in its earlier less moderated days.

        “Weapon” could have been the most innocent sounding item so make no assumptions and watch yo sef lest ye be charged with “unlawful use of a weapon”.

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    • CargoRider April 8, 2014 at 7:22 am

      A car is a weapon and should be treated as such!

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  • Stretchy April 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Q: Who is worse, people who ride or people who drive?
    A: Yes.

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    • q`Tzal April 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.”

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      • Opus the Poet April 8, 2014 at 8:38 am

        Looking at the Monday Roundup article it looks like People With Cars are much more deadly than People With Guns.

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      • CargoRider April 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        You are correct and what I meant to say above was that there is a responsibility that goes along with driving a car that is almost never enforced or discussed, much like with a firearm.

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        • El Biciclero April 9, 2014 at 11:42 am

          “almost never enforced or discussed,” …or even acknowledged.

          Hence the increasing focus of “safety campaigns” on pedestrians (“aggressive pedestrian” cracks me up) and/or cyclists. Be aware! Stay out of the way! Dress in clown-like fashion! Be wary, because “cars”, like the female lion or the male baboon, just can’t be trusted! And like the lion or baboon, they can’t be expected to behave “responsibly”, either.

          Of course, asserting your right-of-way as a pedestrian or cyclist could make you “dead right”, especially if we continue to treat violation of vulnerable user right-of-way–even in cases where the vulnerable user is injured or killed–as a big, fat “oopsie”, a “tragic accident” that couldn’t be helped and has trivial legal consequences for the violator.

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        • wsbob April 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

          Cars aren’t weapons unless people use them as weapons. It seems some people reading about this incident, want to believe that Julia Geday used her car as a weapon against someone riding a bike, whether or not she actually did use it as a weapon.

          Used without sufficient care, motor vehicles can be instruments of injury, or death…as can other modes of transportation, including bicycles. Whether this incident was due to use of a car as a weapon, or insufficient care in the use of a car, a bike, or both, remains to be discovered.

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  • JRB April 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Groce’s record may or may not be introduced at trial. Generally if a person has a conviction involving some kind of fraud or other deception, that prior conviction is admissible to impeach a witness’ credibility. Groce’s convictions do not fit into that category. A judge could rule them relevant, however, if Geday were to assert a defense that her actions stemmed from a reasonable fear that she was in danger of imminent serious bodily harm, aka self-defense. In making such a decision, the judge would have to balance the probative value of the evidence against the prejudice such evidence could inflame in the jury.

    I can understand the DA’s office wanting to collect as much evidence as possible before making a charging decision. If a defense attorney was able to get Groce’s record admitted, a jury could well acquit based on perceptions that he is a bad actor who deserves whatever bad things happen to him, even if the DA met his or her burden of proof. Juries are instructed to rely only on the evidence in making their decisions, but they are human institutions with all the fallibility that entails.

    If she intentionally hit him ( I don’t know, I wasn’t there and haven’t seen the evidence), than the best we may be able to hope for is a plea to a lesser charge. I wish Groce a rapid recovery from his injuries.

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    • Daniel L April 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Also, as the rest of this article points out, arrests do not equal convictions. I don’t know what Mr. Groce’s record is, but if there’s not a conviction to go along with those arrests it is even less likely they’d be introduced at a trial against Ms. Geday.

      However Mr. Groce’s previous arrests are pretty likely to influence the DA and detectives’ interpretation of events.

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      • JRB April 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        Point well taken. An arrest is far less likely to be considered probative than a conviction.

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      • Sho April 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm

        Judging by some of those arrests being for parole violation I would venture to guess there was likely a conviction or two. Either way if he was guilty in the past doesn’t mean he is guilty now.

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    • wsbob April 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      “…If she intentionally hit him…” JRB

      That’s the key question. And if she intentionally hit him, ‘why’. I believe it was in one of last week’s KATU stories that she was quoted in response to a question as to whether she intentionally him, as saying something like ‘I would never do that’.

      Readers to recent bikeportland stories about the incident don’t haven’t had sufficient evidence reported to them to know whether she intentionally hit him. Apparently the D.A. office doesn’t have enough evidence either, and people working there, unlike people reading about the incident here, have access to first hand interview with the parties involved and witnesses.

      Important to remember, is that despite what Groce and some people reading here may think, evidence may eventually prove that Julia Geday didn’t intentionally hit Brian Groce on his bike with her car.

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      • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

        If this guy was in the same lane with her when they both took off from the light, he may have simply been too close to her car.

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    • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      O J’s trial didn’t exactly go the way we thought it would. Anything can happen.

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    • wsbob April 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

      “…even if the DA met his or her burden of proof. …” JRB

      Whether the DA’s office can meet the burden of proof, is the big issue. As others have commented here in reference to Groce, Geday was arrested based on an accusation. In Geday’s case for certain, the DA’s office has not yet, if it ever will be able to, been able to meet the burden of proof required to take the case to trial and have a chance of getting a conviction.

      At this point, the only key part of this incident that seems not to be in question, is that for whatever as of yet undetermined reasons, Geday’s car collided with Groce on his bike.

      So far, this is just the old ‘He says, She says’. Keeping in mind that of almost all comments that have been reported in the news from either of the two parties involved, the comments have been his.

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  • Todd Hudson April 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    In no way did the Oregonian choose the most sensationalist photo for this article to gin up outrage.

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    • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      He seamed to be hamming it up for his own publicity purposes.

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  • Scott H April 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Assuming Geday was at least partially to blame for all of this, being arrested and booked hopefully sucks enough to make her a more courteous driver in the future, charges or not.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I’d say the experience definitely had an impact on her. Did you see her booking photo? Big tear on her cheek and she looked clearly sad and shocked about what she did.

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      • gutterbunny April 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        Tears in mug shots don’t mean much.

        There is a big difference between tears because you actually regret something you’ve done, and those that are cried because you’ve been caught and just figured out that you don’t like the ramifications of your actions.

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        • BIKELEPTIC April 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

          Exactly. I work with clients that will sometimes have warrants and have never been to jail or “really arrested” before. When I get the call that they’re being released they’ll often be sobbing just from being booked and having to go through that experience. They have absolutely no problem in the safety of their car menacing and screaming at other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, texting, talking on their cellphone, driving recklessly – using their car as a veritable TOY and WEAPON – however when real life rears its ugly head they have to take accountability for their bad life choices – hell yes it can be overwhelming and scary. No one likes to address their barriers and be accountable for their actions. I’d rather just honk, scream and swerve at scofflaws.

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  • PoPo April 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks Jonathan for this excellent explanation.

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  • Kenneth Evans April 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I truly enjoy and follow bikeportland.org. OK… am I the only one, that when looking at the female photo, notices that she looks to be on some kind of drugs or alcohol? Were any of these tests taken on her? While I don’t aim this at that person directly; there are some folks that tend to be a “MEAN drunk,” after they have had a few. Just my 2 cents…

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    • pixelgate April 7, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      No. She doesn’t look drunk.

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    • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Every one saw the picture of her, you are the first one to comment on her apearance.
      I would say she has a “lazy eye” or weak muscles in one eye. Not something people comment about in public.

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      • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:40 pm

        If she was drunk, I think it would have been noted by the policeman that interviewed her.

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    • Greg April 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      It looks like she has a bruise around her left eye here – http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/photo/celine-julia-geday-29jpg-e60446d0c3234ae7.jpg

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  • Jeff April 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    As an aside, Jonathan, it might be time to look at moving this site to a reputation based comment system, where people can sign in and the more reputable posters get higher status, allowing filtering. It could be entirely community driven, based on the quality of the comments people leave. It would help week out the trolls by allowing viewers to filter comments only to people who have high quality comments, etc. Otherwise, your comment system often devolves into a noisy trash heap of little utility, like most other web comment systems.

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    • Pete April 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Indeed, and an edit button would help too…

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    • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Remember Animal Farm?
      All animals are created equal, some are just more equal.

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    • dan April 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I am totally against having another log in for another forum. Implementing that would be a good way to make me stop commenting — which may or may not be the intended effect.

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    • spare_wheel April 14, 2014 at 1:36 am

      i don’t think opening this site up to “gaming” reputation is a good idea. cycling has become a politicized political wedge issue.

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    • Mac April 18, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Yeah, trolls aside, as a bicycle commuter who also owns a car and drives, I often have opinions that differ from the majority of bikeportland commenters. I don’t leave trolling comments, but I’d hate to be demoted because some folks disagree with my opinions. It would be pretty crummy if the only comments you see were pat-your-self-on-the-back-for-thinking-like-the-rest-of-us comments.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for the feedback Jeff.

      Your suggestion is something that we’ve discussed a lot. My feeling is that I want to maintain some level of authority over the comments because I don’t think purely, community-based or reputation-based systems are the best answer. As publisher of this site, one of the things I want to contribute is my role as the overseer and moderator of the conversation. With too much filtering of voices allowed, I’d worry that unpopular opinions could get left out. It’s my site and I think I’d like to retain the ability to decide who is and who isn’t a “troll”. I’ve learned a lot from moderating 100s of thousands of comments over the years and while I’m far from perfect at it, I still have not come across an automated system that I feel does a better job at keep conversations productive than what we have currently.

      All this being said, we are right now in the middle of a major site update/refresh and we’re looking at some tweaks to the comment system, so please keep the feedback coming.

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  • jim April 7, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Did you ask if there would be harassment charges filed against this guy? That would be criminal charges.

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  • GlowBoy April 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Sounds like this case may hinge on whether Groce’s behavior towards Geday was threatening, or would have been interpreted as such by a “reasonable person” (which actually means “average juror,” not necessarily the same thing when it comes to bike-involved cases).

    And we don’t really know much whether he was threatening, harassing or menacing her, except that after allegedly being nearly hit while she was texting, he chased her down. That could be sign of excessive aggression, or maybe not. I think a lot of us would have chased down a driver in that situation. If he has a history of criminal violence (and again, so far we only know about arrests and not convictions) that might make him more predisposed to have been acting threateningly, but that is ONLY conjecture.

    The key point, which we do not know, is what ACTUALLY happened when he rolled up next to her.

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    • dr2chase April 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, plus note that people in cars are often irrationally oversensitive to “threats”, given how protected they are relative to everyone around them not in a car. Pounding on the roof is likely to get a heck of a reaction, never mind that you can pound on that roof all day and not ever get through it.

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      • GlowBoy April 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        And whether right or wrong, people think of their cars as extensions of themselves, and if you touch their car they interpret it the same as an attack on their person.

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        • wsbob April 10, 2014 at 12:01 am

          “…and if you touch their car they interpret it the same as an attack on their person.” GlowBoy

          All depends on the circumstances in which people’s cars are touched. If for example, someone is selling a car, or showing it off to a friend, touching the car is likely welcome. On the other hand, if some stranger, which seems to be the case in this incident, goes and pounds on someones car, that in many cases would rightfully be suspected of being an attack on their property, and possibly a prelude to an attack on the owner or those riding in the car.

          I wonder how you’d interpret someone walking or driving up to your bike and touching it, or pounding on it. So what are you gonna do…be a tough guy and threaten to punch their lights out, or actually take some aggressive, or violent physical action against them. Maybe Groce should be counting his blessings that it was Geday behind the wheel of the car that collided with him, instead of you.

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      • El Biciclero April 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

        “…people in cars are often irrationally oversensitive to ‘threats’, given how protected they are relative to everyone around them not in a car.”

        Huh. I never thought about this before, but I wonder whether this reaction is because being locked and belted into a car makes one feel more trapped than free…?

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    • 9watts June 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      “I think a lot of us would have chased down a driver in that situation.”

      Yep. Bike cop is one of us.
      http://bikeportland.org/2014/06/20/truck-driver-rollin-coal-riders-one-bike-cop-107657

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  • Spiffy April 8, 2014 at 7:50 am

    so was Groce actually convicted of anything? I see arrests, but I’m unable to find any stories about his criminal history…

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    • BIKELEPTIC April 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      here’s some criminal history of Groce’s
      http://pdxmugshots.com/search/?q=groce

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      • spare_wheel April 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        In the USA a criminal conviction requires:

        1) a court-sanctioned plea.
        and/or
        2) a court-sanctioned verdict by a jury.

        Being the subject of a blog post on some random internet site is not a criminal offense.

        Being booked or charged is not a criminal offense.

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  • Paul Atkinson April 8, 2014 at 8:11 am

    In looking at a tragedy like this my impulse is to look for lessons to carry forward. One of the most critical is that the driver said / biker said problem occurs every time.

    I begin to think a helmet cam is critical safety equipment. You may never need the footage you capture, but if you ever do, you’ll be grateful.

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    • jim April 8, 2014 at 9:05 am

      I think any kind of helmet would have helped this guy, not with decision making though.

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  • Joe April 8, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I’m sorry I almost killed you. really? she needs to understand her car is a weapon

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    • Jane April 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Unfortunately Car Culture Status Quo will only reinforce the opinion that she is the victim, in spite of her using a piece of heavy machinery to maim someone in the public right of way.

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  • Steve Brown April 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    As we all know, riding a bike on the street is a crime. And if you get hit by a motor vehicle, it is your own fault as you should have known better. Looks like having a criminal record and riding a bike is even worse. Until we get serious about safety on our roads, we might all as well stay home and ride the rollers.

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  • Esther April 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I really liked how this story demystified the criminal justice system. I hope it serves your readership in having a better understanding in future articles about incidents like this :)

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  • Andy April 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you for the follow-up, Jonathan. It’s almost insulting how many outlets were quick to jump on the initial story for some easy “bike v. car rage” clicks yet still haven’t bothered to follow-up.

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  • Trek 3900 April 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    “….. the responding police officers determined at the scene that Geday’s driving behavior was an intentional act meant to harm ….”

    This statement and your headline slant the story so the reader will think the woman is guilty of a crime. She has not been judged by a jury. And even if she did hit the cyclist intentionally that doesn’t mean she is guilty of a crime. She may very well have been acting in self defense. We don’t know what the cyclist said to her; nor do we know if he threatened her. She may have been legally justified in doing harm if she thought he was going to do her harm. If a woman sees some dude chase her down the street, saying who knows what to her, she may have been very afraid – probably was. I’m a man and I would have been worried about it if I saw some cyclist chasing after me after verbally attacking me. He did admit to a verbal attack.

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    • wsbob April 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

      “This statement and your headline slant the story so the reader will think the woman is guilty of a crime. …” Trek 3900

      Trek 3900, how would you have phrased the announcement of what she was arrested for, so as to avoid influencing people to believe guilt existed before it was proven in court? Could have used words such as ‘found evidence and accounts suggesting…’, I suppose.

      Stories about incidents like this one, involving individuals to some extent popularly thought of as having a oppositional relationship, seem to attract more than others, some people that want to presume guilt, rather than wait for proof to brought forward. Discerning readers will take care to base their judgment on more than a single statement in a single story about a given incident.

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  • GlowBoy April 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Trek 3900, how in the world could hitting him with her car have been a self-defense move?

    1. If he was genuinely threatening her, he would have been next to her and couldn’t easily have hit him.

    2. In any position where she could have hit him, he would have been well forward of her driver’s window, and out of range of any potential assault (assuming he was not brandishing a firearm).

    Hmmm?

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  • Trek 3900 April 10, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Quote: “…how in the world could hitting him with her car have been a self-defense move?”

    As John Lennon would say: Imagine. Imagine you are a woman motorist who cut off a man on a bicycle – he then calls you and “effin’ idiot” (that’s what he ADMITS calling her) – so you flip him off and drive off to get away. OOPS! You’re stuck in traffic and he chases you down! You have no idea what he’ll do to you and you can’t get away so you use the first weapon available – your car – and you bop him and knock him over. Self defense.

    The cyclist is clearly the aggressor in this case. You DO NOT chase someone down when they cut you off. That’s called road rage and is probably a crime.

    Quote: “…assuming he was not brandishing a firearm”

    Smart people do not make that assumption after being verbally attacked and chased in a road rage incident.

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    • El Biciclero April 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

      I’ve had drivers honk at me in an intimidating fashion, then pull alongside and start yelling, but I didn’t attempt to ram them with my bike, or even throw my water bottle through their open window. Granted, I’m a guy and the most recent incident I can recall was a woman who essentially wanted to give me a “time out” if I kept riding where I was. But then, she had a car, and I was on a bicycle; I guess she didn’t feel threatened by me. I did yell back at her (without swearing) that where I was riding was perfectly legal. Thanks, Mom.

      Another time, I was honked at (looooong horn blast) and buzzed by a motorist (no, I wasn’t even claiming the lane, but riding FRAP) who then promptly stopped at the next light behind several other cars. When I came up to pass in the wide space to the right of the queue, this driver waited for me, then lurched to the right in an apparent attempt to either scare me or actually bumper check me. I didn’t ram his car, either. Note that this driver engaged in two aggressive acts separated by space and time, such that I could plausibly conclude that he was exhibiting a pattern of repeated aggression toward me.

      I only mention these incidents from my personal experience to say that restraint goes both ways, and he (or she) who has the biggest “weapon” has the greater responsibility to show restraint. To say that a vulnerable road user is morally obligated to show restraint, but a driver of a 3000-lb. motor vehicle is not (because she felt “threatened”) sounds wrong. Do you think I felt threatened when the two drivers I mentioned pulled their little stunts? Sure. Did I threaten them back? No. Why not? Probably because they had already shown aggressive tendencies…and had a car to back them up. Now, if I had had a .22 on me and shot out a tire to disable them from taking further action against me, would that be justified because I “felt threatened”? Or would most people think I should have assumed that a driver who acted aggressively wasn’t really going to do anything crazy (even though it could be argued they already had…), and I should have just let it go? I’ll bet if I responded to an intentional vehicular threat by shooting a tire, I’d be cast as the “aggressive” one, while the “shaken, but OK” driver who intentionally assaulted me would be the sympathetic character. I doubt my shooting of a tire would be seen as “defensive”.

      Now, if the situation were reversed, and I had initiated some altercation with a driver, do they somehow have a right to run me down because they have a car? Do I present more of an immediate threat to a driver than a driver presents to me? Should we assume that if a cyclist starts yelling, physical harm must be imminent, yet if a driver (in my case) invades my space in a dangerous way on two closely-spaced occasions, he doesn’t really mean anything by it?

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    • GlowBoy April 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      “You DO NOT chase someone down when they cut you off. That’s called road rage and is probably a crime.”

      If someone almost hits me because they’re texting and I catch up with them a block later, you can bet your 8ss they’re going to hear back from me. No it is not road rage, and no it is certainly not a crime.

      And your “imagine” response appears to have deliberately dodged my question. I have no difficulty imagining a situation in which the cyclist might have threatened the driver. What I have difficulty imagining is how a cyclist could simultaneously be in a location in which they can threaten a motorist AND be in a location where the driver could hit them? Hmm? The self-defense claim requires that the danger be imminent.

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      • wsbob April 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm

        “…What I have difficulty imagining is how a cyclist could simultaneously be in a location in which they can threaten a motorist AND be in a location where the driver could hit them? Hmm? The self-defense claim requires that the danger be imminent. …” GlowBoy

        Really? You’re having difficulty imagining such a thing? A hypothesis could be that Groce rode his bike right next to Geday’s car such that if she turned the wheel his direction and moved forward even a little, he would be knocked down, sustaining the type of injuries shown in the picture.

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        • GlowBoy April 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

          Really. If you’re right next to the driver’s window and the driver floors it and turns the wheel hard left, it’s still not that difficult to jump out of the way. If she slammed it in reverse and cranked the wheel to the right, possibly not, but there’s no evidence she did this in reverse.

          Either he was an imminent threat to her, or she hit him. Unless a firearm was involved, the two are mutually exclusive.

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    • spare_wheel April 14, 2014 at 1:41 am

      “You DO NOT chase someone down when they cut you off.”

      Pure bike stockholm syndrome. I’ve been chasing down dangerous motorists for decades with many positive interactions.

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  • Trek 3900 April 10, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Quote: “….Big tear on her cheek and she looked clearly sad and shocked about what she did.”

    Are you suggesting she “did” something wrong? As has clearly been demonstrated we don’t know the facts. Don’t try to insinuate that she did something wrong. She may be sad that she was arrested for doing nothing wrong. I’d be sad if I were arrested – even if I were innocent, wouldn’t you?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Hi Trek 3900,

      Yes I am suggesting that. Sort of. I’m saying she clearly did some action that, according to my opinion based on this photo, she appears to regret. I didn’t say she did anything wrong, just that whatever she did it appears she’s not too happy about it. Please don’t assume my perspective. Thanks.

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    • JAT in Seattle April 10, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Hang on Trek 3900 (nice screen name, by the way: “I’m a cyclist too, but…” You’re chastising people for assuming facts not in evidence, yet you do the same thing “You’re stuck in traffic and he chases you down! ” he caught up to her, we don’t have any indicator that he “chased her down.”

      Have you never had an aggravating (or any other sort) encounter with a fellow road user only to find yourself near them a few minutes later? The rest of us have.

      You posit the dubious assertion that she could hit him with her car in self defense. here’s the law: the affirmative defense of self defense is available where one:
      …reasonably believes that the other person is:
      (1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
      (2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or
      (3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person.
      ORS 161.219.

      Not smacking a car (which there’s no evidence he did), not yelling a lot, not calling you an idiot, not even intentionally following you in traffic to yell a lot.

      While we’re at it, Jonathan, the burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” is required to convict someone of a crime, not to bring charges. My assumption is that the DA is holding off pending the investigation and that the collision victim’s apparent non-sympathetic record is a factor in the DA’s decision, but I’d be surprised if this whole matter is done.

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    • wsbob April 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Oh for crying out loud(no joke intended.) …from police reports, quotes from both parties, and stories to this weblog, people really have very little idea of really why she was crying when the mug shot was taken, if she was.

      Whether they’re guilty or just suspected of being guilty, for many people, being arrested is going to be a very emotion prompting experience. Especially, for example, if it’s their first arrest. Maus, you’re among the worst amongst some of the people commenting to this story, in concluding that a tear is on her cheek in the mugshot, because you think “…she appears to regret. …”. Sounds like a sneaky way of saying you think she’s guilty, an opinion which, of course, you’re entitled to. As long as you state it as such.

      Further details about who did or didn’t do what, and why, may eventually come out. Or maybe not. It seems that a final chapter in some stories, such as the one about the guy in Ashland that got a citation for riding outside the bike lane, never get written.

      I’m kind of curious about how the whole series of events of this incident, started. Whether she really was texting, or just holding the phone, or fiddling with something else in the car. Or whether instead, it was Groce that wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing, consequently causing a close call. Fairly certain, is that Geday is not some vehicular homicidal maniac, evidenced by the simple fact that the authorities let her go, apparently with no restriction on further driving.

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      • spare_wheel April 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        “Fairly certain, is that Geday is not some vehicular homicidal maniac”

        I’m pretty sure maniac is not a legal term. Driving into a human being while talking on a cell phone is not only illegal but is a fairly common cause of homicide.

        I personally would like to see vehicular homicide (~34,000 deaths) treated with a fraction of the seriousness with which LE and the courts treat firearm homicides (~11,000 deaths).

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        • wsbob April 18, 2014 at 9:48 am

          Quibble on terms if you will, it was a casual, rather than a legal description I wrote, but authorities that held her for questioning, apparently did not ultimately find the information they had collected, indicated that Geday posed a continued threat to other road users.

          For future updates to this bikeportland story, I’m hoping bikeportland’s staff is making regular inquiries to the police and the D.A.’s office about any further developments in the investigation of this collision, if it’s still continuing.

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  • Mac April 18, 2014 at 8:57 am

    ” However, if the DA decides to take the case to a Grand Jury, you can bet Groce’s background would hurt his credibility and the case against Geday.”

    This is inaccurate. At a Grand Jury hearing, there is no cross examination of witnesses. There would be no one to question the credibility of Groce’s statements, biases, or character for truthfulness.

    Grand Jury is a process where the prosecutor presents only the State’s evidence to a jury outside of the presence of the accused or his/her attorney, asking that if the prosecutor proves all of its assertions, without any regard to possible defenses, is there enough evidence to establish probable cause. Groce’s background would not be an issue at Grand Jury.

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    • wsbob April 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Mac, thanks for that clarification of what information a Grand Jury can have presented to it to determine whether or not a case should move forward.

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