Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Man Gets 120 Days for Shooting Cyclist in the Head

Charles Alexander Diez, the former North Carolina firefighter who shot cyclist Alan Simons in the head, has been sentenced to four months in jail.

diez.jpg(Charles Diez shot a cyclist in the head).

In an Asheville courtroom last week, Diez pled guilty to shooting Simons during a July 26 roadside confrontation. Said to be upset that Simons was riding his bike with his 3-year-old child, Diez fired his .38 caliber pistol as Simons walked away after the two exchanged words. The bullet struck Simons' bike helmet, narrowly missing his skull.

In August, a grand jury reduced charges against Diez from attempted first degree murder to felony assault. While assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill certainly sounds like an offense worthy of a lengthy prison term, the presiding judge apparently agreed that this was a case of a stand-up guy having a bad day. Mountain Xpress reports:

Convictions on such a charge result in an average 20-39 months in prison for the defendant. But in the sentencing, Superior Court Judge James Downs found that Diez’s military service, along with testimony from former colleagues about his good character, were mitigating factors, and chose to sentence him to 15-27 months instead. Downs suspended all but four months of that sentence unless Diez breaks the law again in the next 30 months.

Diez must also undergo anger management counseling and pay Simons $1,200 "for damage to his eardrum."

The slap on the wrist issued to Diez has some worried that authorities have pretty much declared open season on area cyclists. Asked Brian Jones, who along with his wife is a regular victim of harassment and worse at the hands of local motorists: "If a cyclist shot a fireman, judge or prosecuting attorney in his head, in front of his family, what sentence do you think he/she would receive."

The travesty in Asheville comes amid continuing reports of driver-on-cyclist violence, with, as Sarah noted this morning, recent incidents in Tulsa and Miami.'

Brief Bic Control comment: This is a frightening and disgusting example of extreme injustice. Charles Diez was saved by a radically unjust North Carolina judge after "assaulting" a cyclist by intentionally firing a gun into the cyclist's head with the cyclist's 3-year-old child nearby. On top of that, the entire argument between the motorist and cyclist was originally started by the shooter! Thanks to Superior Court Judge James Downs, intentional close-range gun shots to a cyclist's brain is merely a form of "assault."

It's disgusting and unjust how so many motorists w/ violent tendencies are able to harass, intimidate, threaten, assault, vehicularly assault, and kill cyclists with impunity. Now one motorist was able to get 120 days for shooting a cyclist in the head.

This is a dark day for justice in America.

1 comment:

  1. This is ridiculous. Is there any movement against this ruling? Shooting a cyclist in the head is tantamount to throwing a drink at them I guess. Stupidity.