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Ian Hespelt’s mother says there is more to the story than has been reported

The lawyer of a cyclist caught on film attacking a car with a U-lock during a Critical Mass event last month believes that he can defend his client from the charges. At his initial appearance in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, the man involved, Ian Hespelt, did not enter a plea.

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 and 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.

NBC reports that Hespelt has been charged with four felony charges – assault, false imprisonment, vandalism and throwing dangerous objects at a vehicle.

District Attorney George Gascon said he hoped the case would serve as an example to others.

"I think it's really important for everyone to recognise we are operating under very congested road conditions. We have to respect each other's rights and this individual, clearly, not only was he not respecting the victim's right, but he wasn't respecting anyone's rights in this case and we want to send a very clear message that there will be consequences for that behaviour here."

Hespelt's lawyer, Justin Goodwin, described his client as being "deeply saddened and shocked that what began as a traditional bicycle ride has resulted in this case and these charges."

Goodwin added that he believes the charges are defensible “and we look forward to presenting that defence in court."

Hespelt’s mother, Randi, told SFGate that she believes there is more to the story than has been reported. However, she refused to elaborate further. “The whole thing is from one perspective saying he’s to blame. This would have never happened if the driver didn’t do what she did.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

30 comments

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mrmo [2093 posts] 2 years ago
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there is always more to the story....

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steviemarco [236 posts] 2 years ago
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The plot thickens.....

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 2 years ago
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Sorry Mr Hespelt's mom but we do not tolerate victim blaming on this forum.

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jmaccelari [252 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope the thug goes down...

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 2 years ago
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He's certainly guilty of having a twattish moustache.

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danthomascyclist [339 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeh, love. Your son is innocent. Your bullshit is nearly believable.

Oh, hang on. What's this? It's video footage showing your son smashing up a car of a sitting-duck motorist who is trying to carefully navigate her way through a group of thugs. Oops.

Sorry love, you were saying something about there being two sides to the story? I look forward to hearing your son's side.

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Duncann [1080 posts] 2 years ago
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"The lawyer of a cyclist caught on film attacking a car with a U-lock during a Critical Mass event last month believes that he can defend his client from the charges"

You don't say. Isn't that what lawyers do...?

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iliketoridemybicycle [11 posts] 2 years ago
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He'd better call Saul.

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webster [49 posts] 2 years ago
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It saddens me that in America a person retaliating against an aggressive driver is the criminal. I'll put good money on her having driven like this before threatening cyclists on the road.

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STATO [542 posts] 2 years ago
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webster wrote:

It saddens me that in America a person retaliating against an aggressive driver is the criminal. I'll put good money on her having driven like this before threatening cyclists on the road.

Then where is the evidence?

No excuse to respond to provocation with violence (even if they are in the US).

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 2 years ago
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webster wrote:

It saddens me that in America a person retaliating against an aggressive driver is the criminal. I'll put good money on her having driven like this before threatening cyclists on the road.

Aggressive driver? Do me a favour.

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NOC40 [37 posts] 2 years ago
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@webster
Maybe you could tell us in which country it's legal to retaliate against anyone for anything?

PS did you even watch the video? aggressive? the cyclists went the wrong way down the road and blocked her in.

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Simmo72 [657 posts] 2 years ago
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He's a hipster.....I care not.

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Yorkshie Whippet [611 posts] 2 years ago
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Probably like others I would really like to hear the other side of the story. However it seems pretty clear cut;

He knowingly and deliberately rode the wrong way towards the car.
He knowingly and deliberately removed the lock from where ever it was being kept.
He knowingly and deliberately swung the lock not once but several times at the car.

Regardless of whatever the driver did/didn't should have/shouldn't have done, there are three decisions the plonker made to escalate the situation.

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wycombewheeler [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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How can the one that did the escalating be saddened and shocked that it escalated?

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RedfishUK [157 posts] 2 years ago
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NOC40 wrote:

@webster
Maybe you could tell us in which country it's legal to retaliate against anyone for anything?

PS did you even watch the video? aggressive? the cyclists went the wrong way down the road and blocked her in.

...erm the US. You can shoot dead someone who you think is threatening you and "threatening" is a very loose term

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 2 years ago
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RedfishUK wrote:

...erm the US. You can shoot dead someone who you think is threatening you and "threatening" is a very loose term

Yeah... It's not really that clear cut in the real world, though, is it.

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davenportmb [75 posts] 2 years ago
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When I read about this earlier I didn't realise that the driver was a lady. Who would smash up a woman's car while she was still in it and scare the life out of her? Would you want that to happen to your mum, sister or wife/girlfriend?

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DrJDog [416 posts] 2 years ago
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davenportmb wrote:

When I read about this earlier I didn't realise that the driver was a lady. Who would smash up a woman's car while she was still in it and scare the life out of her?

See above photograph.

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Toxmarz [39 posts] 2 years ago
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vonhelmet wrote:

He's certainly guilty of having a twattish moustache.

Well it is a handlebar moustache.

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Leviathan [2735 posts] 2 years ago
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What is a 'U-Lock' by the way, some funky locks they have in the US? Doesn't sound very effective.

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brooksby [2507 posts] 2 years ago
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danthomascyclist wrote:

Yeh, love. Your son is innocent.

Didn't the original story say that he was caught after being recognised by the police (distinctive moustache, what) as he was going into a Billy Joel concert.

So, of course he is "An Innocent Man"  24

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brooksby [2507 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

What is a 'U-Lock' by the way, some funky locks they have in the US? Doesn't sound very effective.

Its what you get when you hold a D-lock the wrong way up.

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webster [49 posts] 2 years ago
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All she had to do was wait a minute for the bikes to pass, regardless of what side of the road they are on. She had no right to push her way through. That's the aggressive action. If she wasn't in her protective shell I doubt she would have tried.

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Duncann [1080 posts] 2 years ago
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wycombewheeler wrote:

How can the one that did the escalating be saddened and shocked that it escalated?

Because he didn't get away with it.

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vonhelmet [844 posts] 2 years ago
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webster wrote:

All she had to do was wait a minute for the bikes to pass, regardless of what side of the road they are on. She had no right to push her way through. That's the aggressive action. If she wasn't in her protective shell I doubt she would have tried.

You're chatting shit. They had no intention of passing. They stopped and got in her way and then got right in her face. They were looking for trouble.

Put it this way, if I set off deliberately riding the wrong way down a road and obstructing and holding up traffic, I'd expect to get thumped, and I'd not expect anyone to have any sympathy for me.

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MikeOnABike [104 posts] 2 years ago
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Hipster cunt needs locking up. He'll be someone's bitch within 5 minutes.

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demolitionspecial [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Deeply saddened and shocked at his own unnecessarily violent behaviour, and taking full responsibility for his actions I hope?

Nope, thought not.. Just another opportunity for some low-life weasel lawyer to grab the spotlight in trying to defend the indefensible.

If Critical Mass was looking to encourage other road users to share the roads, they'll take a massive blow to their credibility if they don't denounce and disown this thug and make it clear to their other supporters that this is unacceptable.

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tatsky [42 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

All she had to do was wait a minute for the bikes to pass, regardless of what side of the road they are on. She had no right to push her way through. That's the aggressive action. If she wasn't in her protective shell I doubt she would have tried.

Are you trolling on purpose? Did you watch the video?

The driver slowed coming to a crossing. The guy on a bike was part way over the crossing, and then decided to ride at the car. He then proceeded to put his bike against the front of the car. When the car REVERSED slightly the bike fell, at which point all hell ensued and the thugs encircled the car. The rest as they say is history.

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brooksby [2507 posts] 2 years ago
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demolitionspecial wrote:

If Critical Mass was looking to encourage other road users to share the roads, they'll take a massive blow to their credibility if they don't denounce and disown this thug and make it clear to their other supporters that this is unacceptable.

I've never been on a critical mass run, but isn't their point that they don't have a leadership or a spokesperson or anything, and that they're just a bunch of folks on bikes...?