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rainperimeter
11-07-2006, 02:35 AM
hey y'all. i'd like to share this story in hopes that you will provide to me good advice, insightful comments or some kind of anectdote to help me deal with/figure out what to do with this situation. i'll try to be short and to the point but pardon me if this does get long...also, there's language, sorry if that bums you out.

i was biking to work this evening on generally the same route i always take and in fact was on the last 4 or 5 blocks of my ride which are always the same. i work on se 21st just south of powell a few blocks, on 21st and bush. the time is about 4:40 and my co-worker and i are sitting on 21st, facing south, at the red light on powell. heading south there is a line of traffic as always, most of which usually turns left and heads east on powell, traffic heading north on 21st almost always heads left/west on powell. i'm going forward through the light. on 21st immediately south of powell there are usually cars parked on the curb, and the lane is narrow so I try to take as much of it as i can so no one can pass me, like i said the lane is narrow, i don't care for people passing too close. right.

so this evening, given the time of day and amount of daylight and the incredible rains we're having i took up a good chunk of the right hand side of the lane as per usual. this however did not stop a car from hugging the yellow line and start passing me. i wasn't stoked as i was being crowded out of the lane and being pushed into parked cars. as the car gets directly beside me i gave the passenger window a smack with my palm, as in "hey you asshole, you're going to hit me". and i didn't need to lean or veer left at all, we were far too close, less than arms legth. so understandably the person driving probably wasn't stoked about this. they fully pass and do the "brake and swerve to the right" manuever. do you know what i'm talking about? pretending like they're going to hit you/try to get you to hit them from behind.

the car slows down quite a bit so i end up beside them again. the passenger, a black (this should be irrelevant but unfortunately won't be in a moment) lady is in the passenger seat. she immediately starts screaming at real beligerently and i do the same back. not the best form but adrenaline is running high. we do this for a very brief moment and i end our conversation with a deep, booming "fuck you".

the car speeds up, and maybe a half a block up, at a big gap in between parked cars, pulls over. a kind of big dude jumps out of the drivers side. i'm figuring he's gonna punch my teeth down my throat. i don't identify as a pacifist, but i've never been in a fight or plan on fighting, that shit is stupid, but i'd like to think i'm no coward either, so i decide that seeing as how this guy is on foot now, even if i try to zip and swerve past him, he'll make some serious efforts to get me. so i decide i'll stop and stand my ground. as i'm approaching him, he's approaching me and before i even come to a stop or put a foot down he lunges and shoves me to the ground. i'm all of 150 pounds at 6" tall, and this guy easily had me outweighed by a good 30 or so pounds and an inch or two, i figure. my co-worker is shocked as all hell, traffic behind has grinded to a halt and traffic from the other direction has stopped also. i'm laying in the street, still clipped in, soaking fucking wet with this guy standing over me who could in all likelihood beat the living shit out of me. he asked what i said to his lady and i shouted back that i told her to "fuck off". and i really thought when i did that i'd face a barrage of feet and fists. he didn't do anything though amazingly. i get up and the two of them start telling me to get the fuck out of the streets, get on the sidewalk, etc. typical shit. i tell them i get a lane, 3 feet to pass, blah blah blah.

so we're just shouting dumb shit at each other and the lady says something about how all us "fucking white boys" need to get our bikes off the streets. this i could not stand. them being black had NOTHING to do with this. you're behind the wheel, you're a DRIVER. i don't give a shit if you're the hottest lady in the world, or you have 3 eyes, or we love the same music, whatever, you're in a car and you are inches from hitting me, nothing else matters. i told her that shit had no place in our current situation and she said it wouldn't matter if i was a black guy on a bike, i should still be off the road. so i again told her to not bring race into this. (on a side note, this is the 2nd time this year i've been screamed at by a woman of color while riding my bike. a puerto rican lady, made it my business for me to know she was puerto rican by informing me of this like i gave a shit, said all us "fucking white boys" feel we're entitled to everything we want and to get a car. she also accused me of gentrifying mississippi ave and brooklyn ny. all after she passed waaaaay too close and i really very politely approached her as she got out of her car a couple blocks (!) down the street and asked her to drive more careful. she FLIPPED! also, i'm 30, so not quite a boy in the traditional sense of the word, don't live off of/or own a business on mississippi and have never been to NY)

so anyways, the people from the car are starting to walk towards their car, traffic is still stopped, others are now out of their cars, on phones. my co-worker tells me we need to call the cops and i agreed. the dude says to go for it, i started shouting his license number and the make of his car. they hopped in and took off. a couple ladies gave me their names and numbers. one of them hands me the phone and a 911 dispatcher is on the line asking me what happened. he immediately tells me i shouldn't have touched their car! no shit. i'd rather not be so close to cars that i 'can' touch them.

1 hour later the cops show. nice guy. i tell him what happened, he also immediately tells me i was in the wrong by hitting their window. ka-boing! i know! yes, indeed i shouldn't have! but shit, i can't honk my horn, if they hit me this isn't going to scratch my bumper. he said that would be considered harrassment, a class B misdemeanor, i think (the shock of everything hadn't worn off and i'm nervous speaking to cops). he also tells me that technically him pushing me isn't assault (?!?) but also harrassment. so me slapping and doing zero harm to his property and him physically pushing me down, off my bike, in the street, in traffic, is equal grounds. he ran the plates and told me the guy is driving on a suspended license, and also in a very casual, very sly way, gave me a bit of information about the guy that i'm thinking, in no possible way, he should have let me know. it was like a tip, "i can't really help you, you CAN help yourself" is how i took it. like an invitation to vengeful vandalism since my attemt at the legal route couldn't do anything for me.

the cop told me in his best estimation if every suspended license driver, if caught and then had their cars towed (which is what happens in that situation supposedly), this would remove about 10% of vehicles off portlands streets. he said the number of suspended licenses is amazing. i asked him to file an official report via the telephone later in the evening. he said, not in a discouraging way, but more in an informative way, that given the circumstances i had presented, a report was pointless. i don't know.

anyways, this really bummed me out all day. headache, knots in my stomach, really lame. so anyone have comments or suggestions on what i might/should do now? do i need to clarify any info from above? do you have a cheery story to make me feel better? my only request is that you please do not tell me i shouldn't have touched their car (it's not like i leave the house hoping i get to smack someones car during a close call or some shit).

thanks,
chris.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-07-2006, 06:29 AM
Holy shit! This is what you have to deal with to be a bike commuter.

Hopefully this will make you feel better: This could easily have been me. If someone had come that close to me, I would have hit their car too. I'd call that a mild response to someone putting my life at risk.

The fact that they were sufficiently close to you for you to hit the car without falling off your bike demonstrates that they were TOO CLOSE. This was self-defense. How else were you supposed to let them know that you could be killed? Did they already see you? Then it was intentional and it was criminal harassment and civil assault. Did they not see you? Then it was gross negligence and they needed a wake-up call.

And maybe this will make you feel better and like a nice guy: I'd sue the bastard. Coming too close is enough, but throw in the racist remark, and I'd make sure he lost his car and had to defend himself in court.

And I'd report the cop. Shoving you is not assault?! That's total BS. This asshole assaulted you TWICE! Not filing a report? That doesn't sound like the procedure he has to follow.

See, you're probably a much nicer guy than me.

nishiki
11-07-2006, 08:19 AM
Why did you confront him?
The driver was obviously nuts and you went in his direction. Why? You should feel lucky you did not get hurt! You seem like a nice guy, next time just think if it is worth a fight.

Austin
11-07-2006, 09:27 AM
I do not know if this qualifies or not, but you may be able to initiate a citizen's complaint and get a citation issued:

http://bikeportland.org/2006/01/12/what-to-do-if-youve-been-hit/

Start at step 9.

Here is how it goes down:

http://bikeportland.org/2006/05/25/full-account-of-citizen-initiatied-complaint-process/

-Austin

kara
11-07-2006, 09:46 AM
holy shit is RIGHT! ive got adrenaline pulsing just reading this.

a slap on a window is perfectly warranted - its not as though you have a horn or other way to alert someone that theyre about to smash into you - and from the sounds of it, there was no way to not "confront" the vehicle. more specifically, when the driver stopped and bounced out of the car, a quick maneuver wouldnt have stopped him from pushing you over.

i recall hearing about the incident where the woman yelled at you about gentrification and entitlement - bullshit. yes these issues exist, but its a dumbshit sort of remark to hurl at someone, especially at someone on an f-ing bicycle. if you really wanted to exercise your entitlement youd be mowing down pedestrians in a hummer while tossing soda cans out the window.

im sorry this happened and it makes me FURIOUS. i am, however, pleased that you still have all your teeth in your face.

k

DJoos
11-07-2006, 11:25 AM
I would have hit the car too, with the rain , who knows if they could see how close they were to you. I doubt you could strike a vehicle hard enough while on your bike to cause any damage, the officers claim that you were breaking the law was foolish.
After a verbal attack, swerving towards you and then pulling over and exitting the vehicle, the driver was definetly demonstrating a position of causing you bodily harm.
The law does state that you should attempt to flee an attacker before defending yourself, I would argue that with your back to traffic, it was unsafe to flee (thus possibly turning into traffic). Standing your ground, in my mind was appropriate. This was a classic "road rage" scenario and would of sent plenty of "defend-my-life" signals through my body.
As for getting shoved to the ground not being assault, that is straight up BULL SHIT!!! The officer should have asked if you wanted to press charges, hell spitting on someone is assault, you should file a complaint with the PD.

Rixtir
11-07-2006, 11:33 AM
Your options:

1) Citizen-initiated complaint, read Pedal Power (http://www.stc-law.com/bikepower.html) on how to do these.

2) File a police report anyway, and ask the D.A. to prosecute on assault and battery and other violations.

2) Hire a lawyer and sue. Unless this guy has assets you can go after, this is quasi-pointless.

Listen, every time I hear a cop talking to a crime victim, for some reason, the cop just can't resist giving legal advice, and it's invariably wrong. The fact that you slapped the car window does not get the driver off the hook for his own violations. It's not "equal grounds." Yes, you could hypothetically be prosecuted for that, but that doesn't mean you would be convicted. There is the self-defense argument, after all. On the other hand, there is NO defense for an illegal passing maneuver (in this situation), nor is there a defense for assault and battery in this situation.

If I understand you correctly, the cop was inviting you to commit another crime? That would be piss-poor legal advice indeed. Don't do it. Take this guy to court. Insist that the police file a report. Then go to the D.A. You have witnesses, and you have the opportunity to take a violent anti-cyclist off the street. Do it.

rainperimeter
11-07-2006, 12:40 PM
Why did you confront him?
The driver was obviously nuts and you went in his direction. Why? You should feel lucky you did not get hurt! You seem like a nice guy, next time just think if it is worth a fight.

i wasn't looking to confront this guy. by the time he stopped and jumped out of his car, which totally blew my mind, we were less than a block from my work. we were both headed down this last short stretch of 21st before it ends at a 't' in the road. i was not not not looking for a fight, but with him on foot, traffic behind us, traffic coming from the other way, i figured stopping was my only option. he was intent on doing something no matter what, know what i mean?

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-07-2006, 12:44 PM
Your options:

1) Citizen-initiated complaint, read Pedal Power (http://www.stc-law.com/bikepower.html) on how to do these.

2) File a police report anyway, and ask the D.A. to prosecute on assault and battery and other violations.

2) Hire a lawyer and sue. Unless this guy has assets you can go after, this is quasi-pointless.

Listen, every time I hear a cop talking to a crime victim, for some reason, the cop just can't resist giving legal advice, and it's invariably wrong. The fact that you slapped the car window does not get the driver off the hook for his own violations. It's not "equal grounds." Yes, you could hypothetically be prosecuted for that, but that doesn't mean you would be convicted. There is the self-defense argument, after all. On the other hand, there is NO defense for an illegal passing maneuver (in this situation), nor is there a defense for assault and battery in this situation.

If I understand you correctly, the cop was inviting you to commit another crime? That would be piss-poor legal advice indeed. Don't do it. Take this guy to court. Insist that the police file a report. Then go to the D.A. You have witnesses, and you have the opportunity to take a violent anti-cyclist off the street. Do it.

Rixter is right! As for "second 2," i.e., 3, you know he has at least one asset -- that giant chunk of mobile metal that he assaulted you with. The damages you would probably get would be less than it's value, but -- after he gets it back from the impound lot -- you could force him to sell the car to pay your claim. Wouldn't that be sweet?! That's what I'd do. Again, I'm not a nice guy when someone tries to place me in apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury. Call me belligerant; I'm fine with that.

rainperimeter
11-07-2006, 01:21 PM
If I understand you correctly, the cop was inviting you to commit another crime? That would be piss-poor legal advice indeed. Don't do it.

this is speculation on my part, just to be clear. this slippery bit of info came as we were having a conversation about how, with police mediation, nothing positive for me would come of this (since i "harrassed" him first with the slap on his window). my own thoughts ran towards sugar in gas tanks and bricks through windows...


so the officer has my address. i told him to file a report regardless. will i be mailed a copy? do i need to go to the se police station? i've never filed a report on anything before, so this is all new to me. i'm wondering if I should contact mark ginsberg? no? not yet?

all this is crazy and i'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

jami
11-07-2006, 04:33 PM
rainperimeter, i imagine most people would be pretty shaken up after something like that!

your police officer seems like he was playing the role of d.a., judge, and jury. it's fine for him to offer his opinion of the legal issues at hand, but really he should have just filed your danged report. banging on a window if you're in danger of being smooshed seems more like self-preservation than harrassment to me. and the guy throwing someone who was no threat to him on the ground sounds more like assault than harrassment to me.

you could continue to insist that the police file your report, and you could do the citizen report suggested by others. that driver clearly shouldn't be on the road. but do you want this matter to be part of your life for the next several months? it would be valid to pursue it, but it would also be fine to just let it go and keep living your good bikin' life.

lucknau
11-07-2006, 06:53 PM
the definition of assault...

I have no idea what that is, in this city.

At least you didn't flip anyone off. A few years ago a guy I know got arrested and booked on assault charges for flipping off a military recruiter as he walked past the recruiting office on Broadway.

So just a heads up: the next time you feel the urge to flip anyone off, just go push them down or sideswipe them with your car, instead.

Defective
11-08-2006, 05:07 PM
Sorry about your experience. Those kinds of things are hard to get over, but you will with time. The cop was pulling a common practice in order to get out of writing a report/doing work. It's almost like hynosis, "You really don't want to file a report do you? Nothing good will come from it, will it? He wasn't really trying to hurt you, was he?"

Slapping a car window to warn the driver that he's about to commit vehicular assault is not harrassment. At most it could be construed as criminal mischief III (C misdemeanor). Knocking over a clipped in cyclist to the pavement could easily result in serious injuries and damage to your bike. If I was the DA or a civil attorney whose case would I take? No brainer.

That said, you have to decide if you're willing to go through all the hassle pressing charges would entail. Also, you run the risk of further confrontation with the driver if he chooses to take it to the next leval-retaliation. I'm not saying what you should do, just things to think about.

Good luck. This to shall pass...

TCR Punk
11-09-2006, 03:35 PM
The cop that responded probably just didn't want to do any paper work, and didn't feel your pain.

Next time if you think you are going to be push over by a guy while on the bike, speed up and ride right into the ass-hole.

I feel for you, press charges, and file a complaint against the officer.

Rixtir
11-09-2006, 07:28 PM
Next time if you think you are going to be push over by a guy while on the bike, speed up and ride right into the ass-hole.That would make Rainperimeter the criminal and tortfeasor, and it would be Rainperimeter who would be potentially facing charges in court.

TCR Punk
11-10-2006, 01:12 PM
That would make Rainperimeter the criminal and tortfeasor, and it would be Rainperimeter who would be potentially facing charges in court.


Really, even if someone should happen to step out in front into my path of travel?

You know that would really suck. Thinking about it, it seems that alot of times bicycles are traveling down the road, and they get in the way of moving vehicles, and it's an accident that cars just run over bicycles. Then the authorities say, "it was just a tragic accident." So some dude swerves at a cyclist with his 5,000 plus lbs of garbage, then gets out and pushes said cyclist off bike, nothing happens. But if a cyclist were to keep moving in their general direction and the operator of threatening vehicle magically becomes a ped. and steps into my lane of travel and I happen to drive straight into him -- I would get charged with a crime? Instead of it being called a "tragic accident."

And yes I know that it would probably hurt to ride a bike right into a person, but i think the dude that got driven into would be hurt more. I think. I do know one thing, i wouldn't be clipped into my pedals when I attempted to run over a person on my bike.

Patrick
11-10-2006, 06:36 PM
I posted a close call report that happened earlier in the week. Look for that post. What I forgot to report in that post was that after being hit by the driver turning left, a few blocks down, some old guy in a white Honda, drifted half way into the bike lane and you better believe I also knocked on his window. I know what you mean, you've got to let them know they are about to run you over!!!! What's next the police will tell us we shouldn't be yelling, "HEY You're about to kill me here?"

And whats up with dispatch putting in their 2 cents, just take the effing report, I don't need your commentary 911 operator....

rainperimeter
11-11-2006, 02:20 AM
And whats up with dispatch putting in their 2 cents, just take the effing report, I don't need your commentary 911 operator....

yeah. this did not at all help my situation at all. almost hit by car, ridiculous verbal exchange, plowed to ground by big guy, more ridiculous shouting match, then i'm handed a phone by someone who called 911 for me and i get a lecture by dispatch. awesome.

Rixtir
11-11-2006, 04:57 PM
ReallyYes, really.

even if...<long drinking-buddies explanation of how to commit assault and battery without consequences>The courts are full of people who think they've outsmarted the legal system.

Rixtir
11-11-2006, 05:01 PM
yeah. this did not at all help my situation at all. almost hit by car, ridiculous verbal exchange, plowed to ground by big guy, more ridiculous shouting match, then i'm handed a phone by someone who called 911 for me and i get a lecture by dispatch. awesome.Don't let the stupidity of the law enforcement personnel dissuade you from pursuing justice. You have witnesses, which is something most of us never have. The guy was driving with a suspended license, he made an illegal pass, then assaulted you.

Go after him.

PoPo
11-11-2006, 05:12 PM
While certainly being pushed off your bike would commonly be considered a form of attack, or perhaps assaultive behavior, the criminal charge of "Assault" depends on the type of injury the person receives, the intent of the attacker and the type of weapon, if any, that is used. Various permutations of these will determine if the crime is an Assault in the first (most serious) to the fourth (least serious) degree. For any degree of an Assault to occur, the victim has to have suffered a "Physical Injury" as a result of the attack. Here "Physical Injury" is also a legally defined term that requires certain severity and length of pain or disfigurement. For example, generally if you are slapped in the face, the resultant injury usually isn't legally considered a "physical injury," even though it might hurt for a short while and leave a red mark. A punch resulting in a black eye might be a "physical injury," a broken bone is definitely a "physical injury".

The legal result of all this stuff is that you might be attacked some way, and even be slightly hurt, but not be a victim of "Assault" because the injury you received wasn't serious enough. However, if you are physically touched in a confrontation you are usually a victim of "offensive physical contact" which is one way to commit the lesser charge of "Harassment," which is a B Misdemeanor. (Assault IV is an A Misdemeanor.) Note also here that the legal definition of "Harassment" is different than the common meaning ("bugging" someone) we usually think of when we hear the word, and the legal term doesn't depend on an injury being inflicted.

Thus when the officer said that it wasn't an assault, he was certainly thinking of the legal definition, while we are all looking at the situation as a whole and thinking of the layman's idea of assault and thinking that heck yeah he was assaulted. And I'm going to good-naturedly poke the Attornatus and say that maybe he forgot about this difference between the legal and layman's meanings for the word when he was suggesting that rainperimeter was assaulted twice? Or perhaps he was using the layman's term himself.

The laws themselves are short and generally "common-sense" enough for everyone to understand. For the exact wording of the laws try searching the following Oregon Revised Statutes on the internet:

166.065 Harassment
163.160 Assault

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-11-2006, 09:23 PM
I was referring to the tort of assault. Perhaps you should look that up; the definition is short and generally "common-sense" enough for everyone to understand. The fact pattern demonstrates that the driver twice placed rainperimeter in apprehension of imminent physical injury. Because of this, and because the officer apparently admitted that the driver committed harassment, a report should have been filed. Itís either ignorant or disingenuous of you to suggest that no assault took place simply because the driver was lucky enough that his actions did not cause injury sufficient to rise to the level of criminal assault.

The officer indeed was asserting that no criminal assault had taken place. I can see why you assumed that my comments indicated that I thought the shoving was criminal assault; they are susceptible to that interpretation. However, I was actually referring to the fact that the officer apparently used his inability to make an assault citation or arrest as a pretext for not completing a report. After he was requested to do so, this may constitute professional misconduct.

Rixtir
11-11-2006, 10:22 PM
Last year, I was walking home, and the police were interviewing a guy who was covered in blood. He had been assaulted by some guys who then drove off, and the officer was doing his best to talk the guy out of filing a report: "Well, I can file a report if you want, but they've probably left the area by now, and it won't do much good....."

donnambr
11-12-2006, 09:48 AM
I don't want you to think I'm minimizing anyone's bad experiences here, but I really wish that bike airhorn was more affordable. I was so lucky last week when the very decent motorist behind me used his horn to draw another motorist's attention to my presence. It all happened so fast and in driving rain (could not take my hand off the handlebars to bang the car), I would have been creamed for sure. After that, the airhorn has moved to the top of my bike gadget acquisition list.

It just seems like being able to make a noise loud enough to draw motorist attention to us could go a long way in preventing some motorist/biker bad scenes.

PoPo
11-12-2006, 11:20 AM
Hey look, a THIRD context for "assault." No wonder there's so much room for frustration and misunderstanding. Is there a good place on the internet where I can look up the Tort meaning of Assault? I'm serious. And sorry if Attornatus thought the suggestion of looking up the laws was sarcastic or specifically directed at you. I've found differing understandings for "assault" to be a very common source of confusion and misunderstanding between citizens and the citizens who are also in the criminal justice field. I figured this was a good chance to help explain the problem to anyone reading the thread.

Regarding being "ignorant or disingenuous" by suggesting that no assault took place because there was no injury, I looked back through what I wrote (see paragraph at bottom), and I think I was just trying to explain what the officer was probably thinking when he said there was "no assault", as the report that the officer didn't think rainperimeter was assaulted seemed to stir up the biggest reaction among the forum. And I certainly include myself when I said that "we" are all looking at the situation from a layman's terms and thinking that he was assaulted. My mistake was to not know of a third, Tort meaning for assault, which you were using in your post. Also it was my mistake to mention a poster directly, as lightly as I tried. No offense intended.

Yeah, don't really know all the minutia and details regarding the question of writing the report and how that conversation went. Indeed, maybe the officer was simply trying to dodge writing the report. Or maybe he truly thought from his experience with attempts at investigating similar crimes in the Multnomah County justice system that it would be a useless endeavor and waste of community resources--it's not only the officer's time but time of supervisors and report readers and data entry persons and record keepers. Or maybe it was something else. I honestly don't know and will try to keep an open mind about it. The officer did write a report, though, is that right, rainperimeter?

And yes, a good, loud horn for a reasonable price would be lovely. I've heard those electronic alarms that sound when the magnet is removed from the unit, used as cheap burglar alarms or purse chatch alarms. Seems like someone could make an equally loud and cheap bike horn like that.

-------------------------

"Thus when the officer said that it wasn't an assault, he was certainly thinking of the legal definition, while we are all looking at the situation as a whole and thinking of the layman's idea of assault and thinking that heck yeah he was assaulted. And I'm going to good-naturedly poke the Attornatus and say that maybe he forgot about this difference between the legal and layman's meanings for the word when he was suggesting that rainperimeter was assaulted twice? Or perhaps he was using the layman's term himself."

Attornatus_Oregonensis
11-12-2006, 02:43 PM
Hey, no offense taken. And my apologies if I seemed offended or testy. I'm glad you took the time to contribute here.

I don't want people to lose sight of the fact that there was some pretty bad behavior here by the driver, including civil assault and criminal behavior that could be charged a few different ways.

I'm not sure of an internet source for tortious assault. Those definitions tend to appear mostly in judicial opinions and law texts. Although I think some states have codified their torts. Also, there are apparently web sites that have available law student outlines (search for "tort outline") for various courses that probably will include the definition.

An outline (or other source) will be valuable for giving you more detailed info. The definition is: Intentionally placing another person in apprehension of imminent physical injury. This tort is notable because no physical contact is necessary. Driving your car within a foot or so of a cyclist with the subjective intent to intimidate or frighten the cyclist, for example, is civil assault. So is passing a cyclist while driving, then swerving close to him or her again with the intent to intimidate or frighten by making the cyclist believe that you may hit him or her. For the OR criminal equivalent of civil assault, see ORS 163.190. Menacing. For a similar crime that does not require intent, see ORS 163.190. Recklessly endangering another person. Both of these example behaviors may also create liability under another tort, intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The tort of battery is similar and also occurred here. Battery is intentionally causing offensive or harmful physical contact with the person of another. Spitting on someone would be covered here, as would getting out of your car, walking into the middle of the street, and shoving down a cyclist who was riding down the street. To further complicate things, to the extent that a State has a criminal battery charge, "offensive contact" likely does not count and physical injury would be required, as it is with criminal assault in OR.

I'm also not sure exactly why the officer behaved the way he did with regard to the report. However, there are many good reasons for the police to create a written record of an incident such as this, the most obvious in this context being to create an evidentiary record for a civil suit. Conversely, there are no good reasons not to create such a record. Thus, my view is that an officer who is requested to do so by a citizen should create a report; I would be surprised if a refusal to do so in that situation is an acceptable response under PPB standard operating procedure.

There was a good post on General Discussion (I think) a few months back about air horns. For those interested in a good, loud horn, you might look that up. I keep saying I'll get one...

PoPo
11-13-2006, 05:54 PM
Hey no worries.

Thanks for the good information. I can much better understand the civil perspective on this case now.

Back to working in the rain tomorrow. Kinda gets old after a while....

TCR Punk
11-20-2006, 10:14 AM
I don't want you to think I'm minimizing anyone's bad experiences here, but I really wish that bike airhorn was more affordable. I was so lucky last week when the very decent motorist behind me used his horn to draw another motorist's attention to my presence. It all happened so fast and in driving rain (could not take my hand off the handlebars to bang the car), I would have been creamed for sure. After that, the airhorn has moved to the top of my bike gadget acquisition list.

It just seems like being able to make a noise loud enough to draw motorist attention to us could go a long way in preventing some motorist/biker bad scenes.

Bike air horn, city bikes, and bike gallery, $29.00. rather cheap for solid piece of mind. Very, Very LOUD.