Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on April 1st, 2009 at 12:35 pm
Back in 2007, we covered the story of Johnny Eschweiler, the man who intentionally used his car to strike two men on bikes in a road rage incident on SE Clinton Street.
Shortly after the incident, victim Ben Ramsdell told BikePortland that he had tapped on Eschweiler’s car window after Eschweiler had nearly run him over, and verbally taken him to task. Ramsdell woke up in an ambulance.
Minutes later, Eschweiler hit another man, Timothy Mastne, who was not involved in the original altercation.
Eschweiler is expected to plead guilty this Friday to several charges, and to receive a penalty, according to Ramsdell’s lawyer Mark Ginsberg.
The hearing is on Friday, April 3, at 11:00am in Multnomah County Courthouse Room 608, with Judge McShane presiding.
This has been a long, drawn-out road.
After discussions with Eschweiler and the two victims, the DA has now reached a plea agreement with Eschweiler.
According to Ginsberg, significant mental health issues make prison an inappropriate option. Eschweiler will enter a guilty plea for a list of more minor offenses in exchange for penalties that make more sense in this particular case. Ginsberg does not yet know what the exact charges will be.
Both victims plan to attend Friday’s hearing.
Today’s hearing was postponed until April 9th at 1:45pm, when it will take place in room #608 of the Multnomah County Courthouse. An agreement about penalties is still being sought, and the specific charges that will be levied against Mr. Eschweiler have not yet been determined.
On hand for the hearing today were Mr. Eschweiler and a companion, Ben Ramsdell, the other witness/victim Timothy Mastne with his wife and son, both victims’ lawyers, several interested onlookers, and a small crowd of news media, including three camera crews hoping to get a good story for the noon news hour.
You can read our extensive coverage of this incident (including media and infrastructure issues) here.