Brazilian driver to claim self defence over Critical Mass carnage says lawyer

Banker says he feared for safety of 15 year old son (Warning! Contains disturbing video imagery)

by Tony Farrelly   February 28, 2011  

Brazil Critical Mass screen grab 2

The driver of the car filmed ploughing in to a group of cyclists on a Critical Mass ride in Porto Alegre in south eastern Brazil last Friday acted in the self defence of himself and his 15 year old son his lawyer told the Brazilian media today.

Ricardo José Neis an official of the Brazilian central bank handed himself in to the Porto Alegre police who have been looking for him since they recovered the car involved in the incident and identified Neis as the owner on Friday night. Luis Fernando Coimbra Albino the lawyer representing Neis told the Zero Hora newspaper that his client had his 15 year old son in the car with him and felt threatened by what he alleges was aggressive behaviour by the cyclists who he says banged on the car roof. Neis, says his lawyer, feared that the cyclists would turn the car over.

"He felt cornered, he acted to protect his son who was in the car", said Albino.

Questioned as to how his client sought to refute the damning video evidence against him, Albino claimed that videos only show part of what happened:

"The images are powerful, but show only from a certain point, when he had started the confusion [sic]. They do not show the aggression that led him to flee"

Mr Albino may have his work cut out to make this defence stick all the films of the ride so far show a far from aggressive group of cyclists comprising many women, old people, children and even a lady with a dog on a trailer. Indeed, while the driver's alleged concern for the safety of his child is commendable any concern for the safety of children does not appear to extend to the children of others – a young boy can quite clearly be seen at 0:58 in the longer of the videos of the incident just feet from the front of the car as it is driven through the group of cyclists. Neis's concern doesn't extend to women either a number of whom he ran down in the incident. Far from being aggresive the cyclists in both films seem good humoured and don't appear to be holding up traffic to any great degree. There were also numerous witnesses to the incident both cyclists taking part in the ride and pedestrians watching it go by.

Indeed one witness had already come forward to say that he had seen the driver of the car acting aggressively towards the riders in front of him before he drove his car through them. Camilo Colling, told the Brazilian website Terra Brasil that he spoke to the driver just before the incident, asking him to be patient and stop behaving aggressively towards the riders in his path and warning him that there were children and older people taking part in the ride ahead. The driver allegedly replied "Yes but I'm in a hurry" before ploughing his car in to the group of cyclists in front of him.

Speaking to Zero Hora Neis's son said that his father had driven through the cyclists after arguing with riders at the back of the group and feeling threatened. According to the lawyer the riders damaged the car smashing windows leading Neis to fear for the safety of himself and his son. You can see a picture of the car here and while it is undoubtedly damaged that damage would seem more consistent with running down 20 cyclists than being attacked by them.

According to Albino contact between himself and his client was mediated through Neis's ex-wife and Neis has not surrendered to the police until now because of his emotional state. His client will co-operate fully with the investigation says Albino. If he is proved to have acted with intent Ricardo Neis may face charges of attempted murder.


23 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Jail. Don't bother keeping hold of the key. Angry

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [199 posts]
28th February 2011 - 18:52


He will, no doubt, be given a severe letting off and a KitKat.


mike the bike's picture

posted by mike the bike [308 posts]
28th February 2011 - 19:54

1 Like

Ah self defence, now I understand the attitude of some of the drivers on my commute.

Seriously they should throw away the key. Angry

djcritchley's picture

posted by djcritchley [172 posts]
28th February 2011 - 21:04

1 Like

Who knows what will happen? If he's found guilty the sentence may be far stronger than what passes for justice in the UK in motoring offences.

It must be terribly frightening sitting in a couple of tons of metal surrounded by people on bikes. The fact is he passed through the group at speed. In a car you could quite easily force you way through a throng at a low speed and minimize danger to the cyclists. Maybe then his claim of self defense could hold water. And if he was innocent how come he fled his car and only turned himself in as this has blown up.

I'd rather be accused of this crime in the UK than Brazil. He'd probably get compensation over here.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [449 posts]
28th February 2011 - 22:08


There is a lot of video to counter the driver's claims. He is one cowardly peice of scum and a psychopath. He needs locking away as he is obviously a terrible influence on his own son and a danger to the public.

All of the video I have seen shows smiling, happy people (even of and from pedestrians), children and elderly riders. Not the angry mob he portrays.

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
28th February 2011 - 22:35


Obviously not attempting to defend in the slightest the deranged actions of someone who clearly needs to be put in jail.

But Critical Mass really annoys me. The very point of it is to cause aggravation. And they call it cycling advocacy?

All it does is give other road users the wrong impression of cyclists.

What if pedestrians did this kind of thing. Take over entire roads and stand in the way of these Critical Mass cyclists when they were just trying to get somewhere. Do you think they would get angry?

posted by kevtufc [35 posts]
1st March 2011 - 10:05

1 Like

"But Critical Mass really annoys me. The very point of it is to cause aggravation. And they call it cycling advocacy?"

Its been pointed out in lots of places regarding this story, but motorists do exactly the same thing in the form of fuel protests, and motorbikes had a 'go slow' to protest at parking charges.

posted by ribena [166 posts]
1st March 2011 - 10:09


Let's hope the Brazilain authorities make and example of him - afterall this is now under the global spotlight somewhat.

posted by Alb [108 posts]
1st March 2011 - 12:28

1 Like

@kevtufc - I'm no fan of CM either but how I feel about it is completely irrelevant to this case.

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [199 posts]
1st March 2011 - 12:30


i just can't believe this story... it takes a very specific mentality to be able to do something like that. And then come out and say it was in self-defence. Whacko Thinking

posted by petesam [10 posts]
1st March 2011 - 13:23


He's a banker. They'll just give him a bonus!

Really, though?

posted by workhard [393 posts]
1st March 2011 - 14:01


Liar, liar, pants on fire.

posted by andygates [12 posts]
1st March 2011 - 18:05


What do you expect. Bankers think they are God. Well the ones in my bank do.

Critical mass rides is one way to draw attention to the needs of the bike. They don't necessarily cause aggravation, only to those who get stressed at a challenge to the status quo on the roads.

This guy is a flippin psychopath

posted by Ciaran Patrick [119 posts]
1st March 2011 - 19:02


If I were him I would try to find a loophole in the law that would permit him to be tried in the UK. The charges against him would probably be dropped and he might well win a bravery award.

whizz kid

posted by whizzkid [71 posts]
1st March 2011 - 22:18

1 Like

They've gotten on my nerves WHILE I WAS RIDING A BIKE.

They'd gather for their ride on a street on the university campus, right when I would be passing through on my way to the gym. Every goddamn time, they had the road so thoroughly blocked that I had to wait for them to make enough of a hole to ride through.

Seriously, guys, come on, what the fuck. Keep the damn street open a LITTLE BIT.

(But no one ever threatened me.)

posted by OnePumpChump [1 posts]
2nd March 2011 - 1:29

1 Like

they need to set an example regardless of the argument against feeling intimidated, ive come across mass groups of people walking for charity and wouldnt think to drive past that group at speed what if someone steps out! whatever way you look at it he should be done for attempted manslaughter!

andrew miners's picture

posted by andrew miners [46 posts]
2nd March 2011 - 9:16

1 Like

Tragic. I feel for all the poor victims of that maniac.

posted by Viro Indovina [80 posts]
2nd March 2011 - 10:31

1 Like

The guy needs to be locked up or face vigilante justice. Sorry but he's a danger to the public.

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [376 posts]
2nd March 2011 - 11:29


Just disgusted that anyone could try to justify this!/frustrated.gif

It doesn't get easier, you just go faster.....maybe

pward's picture

posted by pward [88 posts]
2nd March 2011 - 21:18

1 Like

I am honestly so stunned by this that I don't know what to make of it - it is crazy.

OllyC's picture

posted by OllyC [35 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 0:26


Check out the comments on YouTube........if you really fear for the future of mankind, read those comments.........I despair...

Kind Regards


JonoB's picture

posted by JonoB [46 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 10:06

1 Like

If I were to take this guys ludicrous defence seriously. then he should never be alowed to drive again, he clearly has too nervous a disposition!
Stop lying, admit you did wrong & lost your mind...

@JonoB... never read youtube comments on ANYTHING It will destroy your hope for humanity Wink

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [111 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 18:50

1 Like

Most of the drivers take alcohol and other drugs so they forgot how to drive in rush area and break the traffic rules. So it's a tough task for people to self defense themselves from such happening. Applause

posted by praveshkumar796 [2 posts]
30th April 2014 - 10:10