Gun Pulled on Bikecommuting Prof after Hit & Run- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Bad situation all the way around.

    Gotta wonder, if the professor was able to follow the driver home, will there be enough evidence of the hit and run to file charges? And yeah, following someone home to confront them is going to freak them the f($& out. I suspect this is one of those situations where the driver had NO IDEA he hit the cyclist. So when the cyclist shows up in his driveway (probably upset to some level), he's worried for his safety.

    Seems to me a better way to handle it would be to either:
    1. get plate number at scene, call police
    2. assuming the cyclist can't get it, but can follow the driver at a distance, find out where driver goes, then call police.

    I have to wonder if the cyclist in this situation felt that because there didn't seem to be functional damage to his bike that he wanted simply to address the driver and make his presence known, and that his call to police had more to do with the fact that a gun was pulled on him? Frankly, when a car incident is concerned, I don't care if it hurts my car. The circumstances dictate how I handle it.

    I was once rear-ended in my pickup truck on the interstate in construction traffic by some woman who was honest-to-goodness sniffing her armpits. I noticed in my rearview mirror that she kept inching forward while we were stuck in traffic. There was nowhere for me to go. I could only inch forward so far myself. So I kept an eye on her. At one point, I checked my mirror, saw her sniffing her armpits, and started laughing...just when I felt a bump. I pulled into the shoulder, got out, saw that there wasn't as much as a mark on my truck, but saw a square hole punched in the woman's front bumper. I called police. Sure, it didn't damage my truck, but that woman was being a complete ditz in traffic. She needed a lesson that a little hole in her bumper wouldn't teach. He wrote her a ticket, and was glad to do so after I told him the story.

    So yeah, in a hit-and-run, I'd call police as soon as I could get a solid ID on that vehicle, even if I was fine, and my bike was functionally fine. I'd hope to hell that there were marks of some sort that would be conclusive evidence of a collision. But even filing a report against the driver, even if the police can't do anything at the moment, can be used if that driver hits another cyclist.

  3. #3
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    Wow. As soon as I got a plate # I too would be calling the po-po.
    And after watching the clip, I also gotta agree with the professor - charges should be filed.
    What this is saying to Atlantans is that it's okay to knock a guy off his bike, take off, and then if caught kill him.
    When teens in N.E. are fined for shoveling snow without a town permit, and this is permitted our priorities are twisted.

  4. #4
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    There is room for both sides here, except for the part where the motorist went inside his home and came back with a gun. Once inside his home the motorist had improved his position with respect to protecting himself from the cyclists 'unknown intentions'. The next steps would be to arm himself, secure his family, call the police, and keep an eye on the cyclist. He didn't do that, so his argument that he acted as he did because he was 'unsure of the cyclists intentions' is complete horse shit. The motorist is a class one *******, and a criminal. And the cyclist is welcome in my world any time he wishes.
    "...the virus is all part of the plan to take down the cabal, man! The Bushies, and the oBamas. On the reals!" - anonymous

  5. #5
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    Pretty certain I wouldn't go home if I felt threatened and were being followed (car or bike), but I agree with Fiskare that walking out of your home with a weapon (in almost every state) places you in the "wrong" category. I also wouldn't follow anyone home on my bike. Get a vehicle description and License # and make the call. Wow.

  6. #6
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    I agree that the cyclist put himself in a dangerous position with no need to do so. I also agree that the home owner, once in the house and armed, and so not in danger (if in fact he ever was) should have called the police if he still felt threatened. There are some unstable and irrational people out there. Just ask law enforcement!

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    It is really nice to see rational and earnest discussion of an incident. Thanks to all for that. I don't have anything else to add to this conversation, except that I admire the civil tone and honest advice.

    I can't imagine anything good coming from visiting the driver at his home, and would not recommend trying it. I also can't see "castle doctrine" as justification for pulling a gun on a cyclist outside your door. As above, I would suggest getting the police involved rather than confronting someone personally.

  8. #8
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    Rusted,
    I think your take on "castle doctrine" is correct. I don't know of a single state that allows lethal force to be used to remove someone from your property (outside your home) during daylight hours. The situation certainly doesn't meet the normal criteria for the use of lethal force (i.e. protection of life, threat of serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual assault). The comment about the death threat is probably the most disturbing to me. (Without a firearm) I can understand telling someone to get off your property, but to grab a pistol and tell someone you're going to kill them is pretty clearly nuts.

  9. #9
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    Also in Atlanta, last summer a cyclist tried to get away after a verbal altercation, and was run down in a hit and run. There were serious injuries; a month later he was beginning to say some words.

    Atlanta News: Man suspected of running down bicyclist denied bond | www.ajc.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiskare View Post
    There is room for both sides here, except for the part where the motorist went inside his home and came back with a gun. Once inside his home the motorist had improved his position with respect to protecting himself from the cyclists 'unknown intentions'. The next steps would be to arm himself, secure his family, call the police, and keep an eye on the cyclist. He didn't do that, so his argument that he acted as he did because he was 'unsure of the cyclists intentions' is complete horse shit. The motorist is a class one *******, and a criminal. And the cyclist is welcome in my world any time he wishes.
    If he told the cyclist to get off his property he may have been in his right to arm himself and come back out... but I don't know what the laws are there.

    EDIT: Found this.

    There are some stipulations to this law. If you are both outside on your property, you have every right to shoot, but if you are inside your home and the intruder is outside, you have to wait until the suspect crosses that threshold before you can defend yourself.

    "If you are inside your house, secure, and someone comes into your front yard, I don't think the law would extend outside of your home because you are under no imminent threat,"
    Killing it with close inspection.

  11. #11
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    Georgia’s ‘stand your ground’ law explained | Albany Herald
    Pretty well sums up Georgia's law. In this case the homeowner did (apparently) retreat and re-engage, which doesn't appear to meet the intent of the statute. Further, it would be hard to make a case that the cyclist represented a significant threat based on the case as it's presented in the news story.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    In this case the homeowner did (apparently) retreat and re-engage, which doesn't appear to meet the intent of the statute.
    First, for the most, part you have a duty to retreat. And given the totality of the circumstances the motorist had here a duty to retreat. But from what? The motorist himself provides nothing the justify his fear of 'unknown intention'. By all accounts, the cyclist intentions were crystay clear. Second, once a person has successfully retreated, if they re-engage THEY are the aggressors. So the bad verses good actor flips. The motorist should have been arrested. That still may happen. Legally, as described, the cyclist did nothing wrong and the motorist did. So go figure.
    "...the virus is all part of the plan to take down the cabal, man! The Bushies, and the oBamas. On the reals!" - anonymous

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiskare View Post
    First, for the most, part you have a duty to retreat. And given the totality of the circumstances the motorist had here a duty to retreat. But from what? The motorist himself provides nothing the justify his fear of 'unknown intention'. By all accounts, the cyclist intentions were crystay clear. Second, once a person has successfully retreated, if they re-engage THEY are the aggressors. So the bad verses good actor flips. The motorist should have been arrested. That still may happen. Legally, as described, the cyclist did nothing wrong and the motorist did. So go figure.
    I think we're saying the same thing. Georgia law does not obligate you to retreat, it also does not allow you to reengage if you do retreat. Had the motorist had a firearm on his person, the cyclists actions (in no way) justify that level of reaction and Georgia does not allow lethal force to protect real property outside the home. On a national level, the majority of states do require a retreat when it can be done without incurring a higher level of risk and all states (that I'm familiar with) obligate the party to use the lowest level of reaction possible. There are a few exceptions, Texas seems to be wide open after dark if your on someone else's property. In this case, had the motorist been acting lawfully, they may have gotten a ticket for the collision (although you don't see that very often), now they're probably facing charges after the investigation for assault with a deadly weapon and terroristic threats. It will be interesting to watch.

  14. #14
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    Without reading all the crap????

    We have a law called uttering a threat....it can be a felony.

    Basically if you threaten some one verbally or with anything, you can be arrested and charged.

    The mere act of pointing a gun is a threat, so even if not fired, the holder should have to prove that he was in mortal danger.

    The concept of one increase in threat is allowed. That is if suppose I had a bat, you could use a knife or a gun.

  15. #15
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    ^ Which raises the question: What would be the appropriate response if the person attacked you with a banana? Fortunately that has been answered:


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