• Vehicular assaults haunt Paper Mill Road

    by  • July 17, 2012 • Legal and Enforcement • 3 Comments

    Paper Mill Road in northern New Castle County, with its rolling hills, beautiful scenery, and state of the art bike lanes, is one of the most popular attractions for Newark area bicyclists. Despite what should be a dependably safe road for everyone, the following incident(s) prove just how vulnerable we are, even on roads designed for multi-modal use:

    My husband is a bicyclist enthusiast. Last Friday night [7/13] on Paper Mill Road at around 8:00 pm, close to the entrance of Woods of Louviers, a light metallic blue Ford Crown Victoria, DE tag #209275, with three young men(?) kept riding by him and harassing him verbally.  Finally they rode up behind him; he feared that they were trying to hit him with the vehicle.  They did in fact, hit him across the back with something, he’s not really sure what it was, that they used to hit him. They were driving at about 30 mph, and the passenger that struck him was hanging out of the car window, almost at his waste. My husband was cycling at about 15 mph. Had he been knocked off of his bike, he would have been injured very badly or worse.

    My husband will be going to the police station to file the report that he called into 911 on Friday night, immediately after he was struck in the back.

    This is not the first time that he has received this type of malicious and very dangerous treatment while riding his bicycle on Paper Mill Road. There was a recent, previous incident when he was hit by bottle that young men tossed from their car.

    He reported that incident as well and the state police did pick up that car load of young men that same evening.

    The verbal harassment is one thing and best ignored, but a physical assault is something very different and could potentially be dire.

    It seems that in both situations they were youths that appear to live in the area.

    Fortunately, in both instances, the tag number was recorded and turned into the police. The question now becomes, will justice be served?


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    Paper Mill Road facing north, at the Woods of Louviers in Newark.

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    3 Responses to Vehicular assaults haunt Paper Mill Road

    1. Felix Cartagena
      July 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      “Fortunately, in both instances, the tag number was recorded and turned into the police. The question now becomes, will justice be served?”

      I doubt it. In the past, despite having a description of the vehicle and the license number, riders who were assaulted in Delaware were told unless they can identify their assailants, no action would be taken. The only case I know of which resulted in an arrest was when a police officer (not on duty) was assaulted in DC. The officer flashed a badge and the culprit took off. The officer then called in the assault and the person was stopped a few blocks away, with the officer on the bike catching up. However, the perp was only charged on traffic offenses and not the assault. Basically, Law Enforcement does not consider bicycle assaults as something that requires their attention.

    2. John Bare
      July 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Will justice be served? Why shouldn’t it be? But the injured party/plaintiff must push for justice. Unfortunately, I have been assaulted 3 times and hit-and-runned once. Fortunately, I’ve ridden a lot of miles and years so that is still not a frequent occurrence. In these cases, police in DE, PA, NC picked up/arrested the perpetrator within hours. In 3 of 4 cases, the perp was found guilty of various charges, though plea bargaining usually strikes a balance between how much you want a serious conviction vs. how much time you want to spend in potentially protracted court appearances. Injury hit-and-run is a felony which gets a perp’s attention when the judge looks her in the eye. In the 4th case, the only witness was the perp’s wife; they concocted a version of events which was less than truthful; justice was not served. Most satisfying was hearing the attorney for the defendant in one case tell his client, “Of all the cyclists in the area, you had to pick on John Bare.”

      I urge the plaintiffs to push the police to press charges. It is worth it, both for the satisfaction and for use in any civil action they may choose to bring.

    3. Frank Warnock
      July 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I just got word that the plaintiff spoke with a state patrol sgt who happens to be on the DE Bicycle Council and will be filing the complaint today. Will update as things progress. The good news is, he has a tag number so this should be interesting.

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