Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 26th, 2007 at 10:20 am
to encourage support at his trials.
Poster photo by Dat Nguyen
Just over a year ago, while holding up traffic on W. Burnside for hundreds of cyclists during the 2006 World Naked Bike Ride, bike scene personality and filmmaker Reverend Phil got into an altercation with a motor vehicle (read this story for a photo and full rundown of what happened).
The incident ended up with Rev Phil facing four misdemeanors and up to 2 1/2 years in jail. Phil has always maintained his innocence and his legal team (a lawyer, witnesses, and investigators) has uncovered some not-so flattering facts about the motorist and her passenger (an off-duty Portland Police officer who accosted Phil during the incident).
According to Phil, in the past year the courts have delayed the trial “a half dozen times or more” for a variety of reasons. Then last Friday, with the trial set to start tomorrow, and a building case that might have exposed the naked truth about what happened, the District Attorney decided to give up and dismiss all charges.
Phil says the news is “wonderful and frustrating all at once.” He adds that he has spent considerable time and effort over the past year to defend himself but isn’t sure if he’ll counter-sue.
When he heard the DA’s decision to dismiss the case, Phil was inspired to write a poem:
“First there was nothing and it was totally boring. Then there was nudity and that was totally riotous. Then clohes, which were practical, but not as much fun. Then bikes, which provided much pleasure across the lands (and sometimes waters).
Then one magical day, the perfect unification of bicycle sans clothing was achieved, and it was good.
“You got your nudity on my bicycle!”
“You got your bike in my ass!”
It was awkward at first, but soon the skies opened up for all the universe did desire to gaze upon its beauty.
All was glorious for some time, then lighting (in the form of a Jeep Liberty SUV) struck down a naked biker, and it was not good. For a year revphil and all his friends struggled in legal purgatory. They were determined to get naked justice, knowing that day would come…and the skies would clear again, and the roads would be smooth, and the hills easy to climb, and the wind would be very refreshing.”
Last Saturday night, Phil led his supporters on a naked bike ride through downtown Portland.
Dan Kaufman of Crank My Chain Bicycle TV has been following this case closely and has a report and an interview with Phil recorded last week.