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Man with distinctive moustache spotted by police on cycle patrol

The cyclist seen in a YouTube video smashing a car window during a recent San Francisco protest ride has been arrested. Hoodline reports that 39-year-old Ian Hespelt was spotted by police who were on cycle patrol outside a Billy Joel concert who recognised him and his bike from footage of the incident.

The man seen in the video has a long moustache and is wearing a T-shirt reading “Non-violence is our strength”. Police also made use of second video to help them identify him. This footage, which was subsequently shown on San Francisco TV channel KPIX 5, is from the same night but earlier in the evening and shows Hespelt’s face more clearly.

After investigators finished questioning him, Hespelt was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, false imprisonment, and maliciously and wilfully throwing a substance at a vehicle – all of which are felonies. He was also booked on a misdemeanour charge of inciting a riot.

The incident took place during the monthly San Francisco Critical Mass protest ride. A stand-off between protestors and a driver saw a group of cyclists surround a car. When the driver tried to manoeuvre around them, one hit the car with his bike, while Hespelt repeatedly swung at it with a U-lock. The vehicle is said to have sustained about $3,000 dollars’ worth of damage.

Critical Mass is a monthly protest ride that happens on the last Friday of every month in San Francisco with similar events now also taking place in nearly 300 cities around the world.

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19 comments

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danthomascyclist [347 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Hespelt was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, false imprisonment, and maliciously and wilfully throwing a substance at a vehicle – all of which are felonies.

Ouch. I'm glad he's been arrested, and I know it's the other side of the pond, but something tells me he's going to get a harsher sentence than a driver that does a hit and run on a cyclist in the UK.

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KiwiMike [1325 posts] 2 years ago
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In my experience, Critical Mass participants are too often not 'cyclists', just aggro dicks who happen to be on bikes. They may be a minority, but use the presence of many more mannered and reasonable folk to self-justify aggressive and sometimes violent actions. I only ever went to one. That was enough.

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Chuck [590 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

In my experience, Critical Mass participants are too often not 'cyclists', just aggro dicks who happen to be on bikes.... I only ever went to one. That was enough.

Same here, only a few people on the one I went to. A few apparently bemused newbies who didn't seem too sure what was going on, and the rest basically out looking for confrontation. Utterly pointless, unless the aim was to make people hate people on bikes.

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DrJDog [436 posts] 2 years ago
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They were riding the wrong way up the road. Is that a usual part of a critical mass ride? Never been on one myself.

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michophull [145 posts] 2 years ago
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Critical Mass = Rent A Mob. I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member.

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Legin [142 posts] 2 years ago
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Lock him up and chuck away the key. He provoked this incident; I would imagine the driver was a frightened and in moving the car was looking at self preservation rather than anything else.

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Legin [142 posts] 2 years ago
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Lock him up and chuck away the key. He provoked this incident; I would imagine the driver was a frightened and in moving the car was looking at self preservation rather than anything else.

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fukawitribe [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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Wait - what ? "wilfully throwing a substance at a vehicle" is a felony and "inciting a riot" is a misdemeanour ?

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Duncann [1188 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

In my experience, Critical Mass participants are too often not 'cyclists', just aggro dicks who happen to be on bikes.... I only ever went to one. That was enough.

Same here, only a few people on the one I went to. A few apparently bemused newbies who didn't seem too sure what was going on, and the rest basically out looking for confrontation. Utterly pointless, unless the aim was to make people hate people on bikes.

I kinda agree with the sentiment here but I don't see this differentiation being applied to drivers, or politicians, or anyone else. If someone's cycling a bike, they're a cyclist. Some cyclists behave badly sometimes.

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LarryDavidJr [382 posts] 2 years ago
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Hipster douche!

If anything needs smacking with a d-lock it's him.

(sorry)

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mrfree [79 posts] 2 years ago
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I find it more shocking that in a country where guns are legal, a bicycle lock is a "deadly weapon".

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Chuck [590 posts] 2 years ago
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Duncann wrote:

I kinda agree with the sentiment here but I don't see this differentiation being applied to drivers, or politicians, or anyone else. If someone's cycling a bike, they're a cyclist. Some cyclists behave badly sometimes.

Well, this is the 'out group' thing isn't it? People are far more willing to attribute bad behaviour from individuals to an entire group if that group is perceived to be some sort of minority.
You're right that nobody holds all drivers to account for the behaviour of a few bad apples, while being ready to wave away transgressions with a "there go I" kind of attitude. That's because most people are drivers themselves and it's completely normalised.
Yes it's daft, but that doesn't mean that people don't do it.

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oldstrath [928 posts] 2 years ago
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Legin wrote:

Lock him up and chuck away the key. He provoked this incident; I would imagine the driver was a frightened and in moving the car was looking at self preservation rather than anything else.

And you don't think he was frightened when a ton of metal was driven at him? He may well be a prick, but I can't say the driver was all that impressive either, and a car surely is at least as deadly a weapon as a d-lock.

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danthomascyclist [347 posts] 2 years ago
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oldstrath wrote:
Legin wrote:

Lock him up and chuck away the key. He provoked this incident; I would imagine the driver was a frightened and in moving the car was looking at self preservation rather than anything else.

And you don't think he was frightened when a ton of metal was driven at him? He may well be a prick, but I can't say the driver was all that impressive either, and a car surely is at least as deadly a weapon as a d-lock.

What the fuck - are you serious? Not sure if you're serious or just an unreasonable moron. He was so frightened he made an effort to stay in front of the vehicle, even jumping in front of it, then standing next to it smashing it with a D-lock. He sure looked terrified to me  35

They surrounded the driver, wouldn't let her through. She edged forwards extremely slowly to get through, trying to go around them, and the rider basically lunges at the front of the car then starts smashing it up.

They were riding the wrong way along the road, acting like twats, looking for trouble.

The driver did nothing unreasonable, and I expect that most people in that situation would have been less careful than this motorist. The motorist did nothing wrong.

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Cupotea [21 posts] 2 years ago
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danthomascyclist wrote:
oldstrath wrote:
Legin wrote:

Lock him up and chuck away the key. He provoked this incident; I would imagine the driver was a frightened and in moving the car was looking at self preservation rather than anything else.

And you don't think he was frightened when a ton of metal was driven at him? He may well be a prick, but I can't say the driver was all that impressive either, and a car surely is at least as deadly a weapon as a d-lock.

What the fuck - are you serious? Not sure if you're serious or just an unreasonable moron. He was so frightened he made an effort to stay in front of the vehicle, even jumping in front of it, then standing next to it smashing it with a D-lock. He sure looked terrified to me  35

They surrounded the driver, wouldn't let her through. She edged forwards extremely slowly to get through, trying to go around them, and the rider basically lunges at the front of the car then starts smashing it up.

They were riding the wrong way along the road, acting like twats, looking for trouble.

The driver did nothing unreasonable, and I expect that most people in that situation would have been less careful than this motorist. The motorist did nothing wrong.

I fully agree. The guy rides off the crossing and up the road the wrong way looking for a fight.

All this tribal Us and Them stuff is depressing and worryingly more and more common. The 'cyclists' there are more than likely 'motorists' too. Is this any different than a bunch of Man U supporters looking for a fight with Liverpool supporters? "You're wearing a different coloured shirt, therefore you're no longer a human being and are open to any amount of nastiness I can think of."

Empathy is in short supply these days unless it's media fueled guilt trips.

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hawkinspeter [1210 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm glad they caught him - he's just a bully. However, it does look like they're throwing the book at him - it didn't look like he was trying to harm the woman although she probably didn't think so at the time. I wish we had some of that tough justice for when lorry drivers kill people when they shouldn't even be driving or footballers when they drink'n'driving'n'hit'n'run.

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danthomascyclist [347 posts] 2 years ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:

However, it does look like they're throwing the book at him -

That's what they do in the States. Throw a load of trumped-up charges at the perpetrator, then agree to drop some of the charges if they plead guilty to the remainders.

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
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I went on a critical mass in London some years ago and have vivid memories of riders going the wrong up a street, confronting a driver in a range rover, smashing their fists on the bonnet.one guy got off his bike and jumped on the bonnet. The driver looked terrified.

I have never been so ashamed to be a cyclist watching this behaviour from fellow cyclists and promptly left. Never wanted to attend another critical mass since.

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velo-nh [136 posts] 2 years ago
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"Non-violence is our strength."

Just.. wow. The guy is a 39 year old child. Obviously thinks the law doesn't apply to him. I'm glad (and surprised) that the authorities caught him. I wonder if they were worried that if they did nothing, that type of behavior might become contagious.