Motorist in Brazil charged with attempted murder after driving off with cyclist's severed arm

Motorist admits dumping limb in stream after collision; doctors say they could have reattached it

by Simon_MacMichael   March 11, 2013  

road.cc news

A motorist in Brazil is to be charged with attempted murder after driving away from a collision with a cyclist with the rider’s severed arm in his vehicle. The driver, a 22-year-old student, later disposed of the limb in a stream, reports BBC News.

According to police, doctors say that they believe the arm could have been reattached, but it has not been recovered.

The incident took place in Sao Paulo yesterday morning and the victim, a window cleaner who was riding to work, is described as being in a stable condition in hospital.

The driver, who was on his way home after a night out, has also been charged with drunk driving and claims the arm fell into his vehicle following the collision.

His lawyer, Cassio Paoletti, said that his client has admitted throwing the arm into a stream but denies the attempted murder charge, and that he explained his failure to stop at the scene of the incident, on one of the city’s busiest streets, as being because he was afraid of the reaction of bystanders.

"If he had stayed, they would have killed the boy,” the lawyer maintained. “For instance, the police station was surrounded by hundreds of people who verbally abused and threw cans at my client's father, who's a 60-year-old man."

Referring to the stream into which the arm was thrown, a police spokesman said:
"It has dirty, murky waters, so it might be difficult to find it."

The driver handed himself in to police after taking a friend home.

The BBC reported that cyclists had arrived outside the police station where the motorist was being held to protest for the safety of cyclists, an issue that has been the subject of a campaign in the city for several months.

Two years ago, we reported another case in Brazil in which motorist Ricardo Neis was indicted on 17 counts of attempted murder after driving into a group of cyclists taking part on a Critical Mass ride in Porto Alegre.

Neis was subsequently committed to a secure psychiatric unit pending trial, but he was reportedly freed in April 2011 with the judge saying that there was no evidence he intended to threaten witnesses or victims. We are unable to trace any report of whether the case went to trial.

12 user comments

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That is an UGLY story Sad

Best wishes to the rider.
Lance B

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posted by Lance Bumstrong [20 posts]
11th March 2013 - 13:35

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Nasty...

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posted by Peddlar [4 posts]
11th March 2013 - 14:19

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"The driver handed himself in to police after taking a friend home."

Nice choice of phrase Wink

posted by thelimopit [119 posts]
11th March 2013 - 14:20

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thelimopit wrote:
"The driver handed himself in to police after taking a friend home." Wink

Very droll Surprise

posted by Marauder [239 posts]
11th March 2013 - 14:35

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Seriously... WHAT THE F*#K??

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posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
11th March 2013 - 14:43

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It is a pity, in a way, that this story isn't one that the BBC have chosen to allow comments on. I am sure, even despite the gruesome nature of the motorist's actions in this case, several people would have posted about red light jumping and road tax. I would have liked to have seen someone attempt to argue that, for as long as there is a single person who refuses to meekly accept the primacy of the motorcar, that cyclists cannot expect not to occasionally have their arms torn off and thrown in a river.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
11th March 2013 - 15:12

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I returned to cycling last year after a gap of 10 or so years. All I keep hearing is incident after incident of horrific stories between bikes and cars. Is this a new thing or is it I'm just more aware due to my renewed interest. Its pretty damn shocking either way. Thats the mans means of earning a living gone. Awful.

posted by Abbie [36 posts]
11th March 2013 - 15:41

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Good for the Brazilian legal system that he's charged with attempted murder, not some minor driving offence.

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [134 posts]
11th March 2013 - 17:07

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Abbie wrote:
I returned to cycling last year after a gap of 10 or so years. All I keep hearing is incident after incident of horrific stories between bikes and cars. Is this a new thing or is it I'm just more aware due to my renewed interest. Its pretty damn shocking either way. Thats the mans means of earning a living gone. Awful.

I know what you mean, but I think it's as much to do with the media as anything. News travels so fast, and you can access more media focused on given interests (such as cycling). I see so many stories I have to remind myself that these pale into insignificance next to the frequency muggings, car accidents etc, or indeed deaths resulting partly from a lack of physical activity. Keep perspective and keep pedalling!

(That said, this story is absolutely horrific)

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3083 posts]
11th March 2013 - 19:07

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Abbie,

Cycling in most places has grown, on average, much safer over the last 10 years. There are blips - such as the recent uptick in London. But things are broadly getting safer.

Invisible.

posted by InvisibleVisibleMan [19 posts]
11th March 2013 - 21:12

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The motorist in the Porto Alegre case was charged in June 2012 with 17 counts of first degree murder and will be subject to a trial by jury. No date for the trial had been set.

posted by lfgaspar [6 posts]
12th March 2013 - 16:22

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Doesn't matter how careful a Cyclist rides , there will be some nutter , asleep at the wheel , willing to risk their licence , to save seconds on their journey ! Biggest problem being the benign magistrates that think this is NORMAL !
Another example of a motorist with the wrong attitude to the V R Users they encounter . Good to see the local Cyclists letting the world know that they have had enough of being ignored .

See a vehicle driver behave badly , catchup with them in the traffic and tell them what they did wrong , not many will fight their corner , since they know they are doing wrong as they do what they CHOOSE to do !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [383 posts]
13th March 2013 - 8:23

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