A physician was senteced to five years in prision after losing his cool and injuring two bicyclists. Dr. Christopher Thompson was convicted of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury and reckless driving causing injury after the July 4, 2008 incident.
The bicycle accident occurred along Mandeville Canyon Road, a Brentwood residential road that has a history of altercations between cyclists and motorists. According to prosecutors, Thompson passed dangerously close to the cyclists yelling at them to ride single file. Then, Thompson pulled in front of them and slammed on his brakes.
The two victims, Ron Peterson, a cycling coach, and Christian Stoehr, were unable to stop in time and slammed into the back of Thompson’s red Infiniti. Peterson suffered a broken nose, broken teeth and lacerations to his face while Stoehr separated his shoulder.
Thompson said that he never intended to hurt the cyclists and that the two cursed at him and flipped him off after Thompson yelled at them to ride single file. He also said that he had pulled off to the side of the road to take pictures of the riders believing there was enough room.
The cyclists claim that he had honked loudly at them and passed dangerously closed to them as they moved to ride single file. A police officer told jurors that shortly after the crash that Thompson said he slammed on his brakes in front of the riders to "teach them a lesson."
The problem for Thompson’s defense was he allegedly had a history of altercations with cyclists. As a matter of fact, two other cyclists reported that four months prior to this incident, he had attempted to force them off the road. In his trial, he testified that he is not the only Mandeville Canyone resident to be upset at cyclists who ride dangerously and act disrespectfully towards residents and motorists.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Thompson guilty and he is to be sentenced December 3, 2009.