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US driver gets three years after ramming teen cyclist with SUV, leaving him brain damaged

Driver erroneously believed cyclist had stolen his son's bike...

A man from Cleveland, Ohio, has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment after ramming a 14-year-old cyclist whom he believed had stolen his son’s bike with his SUV, leaving the boy with brain injuries.

The incident took place on April 18 when Julius Lyles III, driving his Ford Explorer, saw 14-year-old Kenshawn Cummings riding a bike similar to one that had been stolen from his son the day before.

Lyles called on the cyclist to stop, and when he didn’t, put the SUV in reverse and rammed it into him, hurling the teenager 25 feet through the air.

After being taken to hospital, the victim was placed in an induced coma from which he has now emerged, although he has been left with brain injuries.

Witness Clifford Plott, quoted on WJW-TV after the incident, said: "There was a fellow saying he stole his son's bicycle, and I just looked over and I saw the kid laying on the pavement, and I saw skid marks. The man took the law in his own hands, went out of his way to put this kid down, and that bike was crunched.

"It's way to much to chase a kid on a bicycle and put him in the hospital," he added.

In court yesterday, Lyles issued an apology to the victim and his family.

"This was not my intention," he explained. "I've been praying for your family and your son since this happened."

However, Kenshawn’s father said that the incident had irrevocably changed his son’s life.

"He was in a coma for two weeks and he's still in rehabilitation for 6 months now, so it's going to be a fight forever," Sidney Shepherd revealed. "He has a severe concussion and permanent brain damage, so it's going to be a fight forever."

The maximum term that Lyles could have received for felonious assault, the offence to which he pleaded guilty, was eight years. Prosecutors had earlier dropped charges including attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 years, as a result of his plea bargain.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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ch | 10 years ago


skippy | 13 years ago

Typical result , DA was too lazy to prosecute the case properly so the villain gets 3 and serves none?
Meanwhile the victim gets "Life"!
Wonder if the DA will be voted back into office with results like these ?

mrchrispy | 13 years ago

it's been said before but if want to hurt/kill someone then do it with a car and you can be sure the courts won't he hard on you.

Shiny Flu | 13 years ago

3 years is a joke.

I think this is a great reflection of the US legal system slippery slope to nowhere. First the douche that diddn't get charged by the DA because 'it would harm his job' after a hit and run and now this.  30

mad_scot_rider | 13 years ago

Sorry - I hope someone more familiar with the american legal system can help me here - surely he used a deadly weapon (to wit: a gas-guzzling SUV) in a deliberate assualt - 3 frickin years!!!

It's true, there's no justice - just us.

Karbon Kev | 13 years ago

Another ridiculous sentence which is waaaay too low, this poor kid has to live with his sentence the rest of his life.


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