A physician who deliberately injured two cyclists with his car was this week found guilty on seven counts that included assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury and reckless driving causing injury. He was immediately taken to jail.
This was the culmination of a three week trial in Los Angeles that resulted from an incident on July 4th, 2008, when Dr. Christopher Thompson, a 60 year old emergency room doctor, got into a confrontation with two cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road, Brentwood, CA.
Annoyed at not being able to get by the cyclists on the narrow winding road, the situation escalated when one of the cyclists flipped Thompson off. The doctor cut in front of the cyclists and slammed on his brakes.
One cyclist hit the back of the SUV resulting in broken teeth, lacerations to the face that included needing reconstructive surgery to his nose. The other cyclist fell and suffered a separated shoulder.
Thompson told police, “I just wanted to teach them a lesson.” I think more than anything, the doctor has taught himself a lesson, one that I hope other drivers will get.
Deliberate dangerous moves like cutting cyclists off or slamming on brakes in front of them, have serious consequences. Thompson could face up to 10 years, but we will have to wait until December, 3rd for the sentencing.
Whatever he gets I’m sure this will cost him financially big time. His defense costs alone for a three-week trial, and I can practically guarantee a civil suit will follow.
If I could ask Dr. Thompson one question right now as he sits in jail, it would be, “Was it worth it?”