LA road rage doctor faces up to five years in jail

Fourth of July attack leaves cyclist needing 90 stitches and reconstructive surgery

by Simon_MacMichael   November 3, 2009  

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A former accident & emergency doctor in California has been found guilty of assaulting cyclists by overtaking them and then slamming on his brakes and he now faces up to five years in jail. In one incident he left a cyclist requiring 90 stitches and reconstructive surgery to his nose and several broken teeth. 

Dr Christopher Thompson was convicted by a jury at Los Angeles Superior Court on seven counts including assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving causing specified bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury, following two separate incidents last year, both involving two cyclists.

In the more serious incident, which took place on the Fourth of July Independence Day Holiday on Mandeville Canyon Road, where Dr Thompson lives, one cyclist went through his rear windscreen while the other flew over the car and landed on the road.

The cyclists in the earlier incident were uninjured, but their GPS data, which was used in evidence from an expert witness, showed that they were travelling at the 30mph speed limit before the 60-year-old doctor passed them, then braked suddenly, forcing them to take evasive action to avoid a collision. In court, he claimed that he stopped because he wanted to take a picture, an excuse that didn’t wash with the jury.

In the July 4 incident, the prosecution produced as a witness the first police officer to arrive at the scene, who testified that the driver had told him, “I wanted to teach [the cyclists] a lesson,” adding “I’m tired of them.”

During the two-week trial, in which another cyclist testified that he had also been involved in a similar incident with what he believed to be the same vehicle, the court heard a tape of Dr Thompson’s phone call to a 911 operator in which he said, “they’ll tell you they are seriously injured, but they’re not.”

In fact, one of the victims, Ron Peterson, the cyclist who went through the windscreen, needed more than 90 stitches to reattach his nose and broke a number of teeth in the crash; the other, Christian Stoehr, came away with road rash and a grade 3 shoulder separation.

Doctor Thompson was led from the court in handcuffs and is now being held without bail pending sentencing.

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I'm pretty much speechless, how can someone who is supposed to save lives be so happy to put cyclists in that situation?!

All the gear and no idea!

posted by JonMack [172 posts]
3rd November 2009 - 10:41

3 Likes

There's probably a good reason why he is a former accident and emergency doctor.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1398 posts]
3rd November 2009 - 14:25

2 Likes

Maybe this is a good one to throw back at Daily Mail readers complaining about cyclists.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2466 posts]
4th November 2009 - 14:30

2 Likes

hope there's no ky where he's incarcerated. here's hoping he gets sent down for the full 5 years

sloop

posted by sloop [22 posts]
24th October 2011 - 11:35

1 Like