Sunday, November 4, 2012

Court case for motorist who intentionally struck cyclist is Monday

The court case involving the motorist who is alleged to have intentionally struck a cyclist who was riding on Maple Ave. in Vienna is scheduled for Monday at 9:30am at the Vienna courthouse. The courthouse is located in Vienna Town Council chambers. See our earlier blog entry about the case that included this exerpt from the Vienna Patch article Driver Arrested After Dispute with Cyclist
Vienna Police have arrested a man for allegedly intentionally striking a cyclist with his vehicle after a dispute on Maple Avenue while both were in motion.

John Arthur Thorpe, 52, of Bristow, was arrested Aug. 18 for assault and aggressive driving and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, said Officer Gary Lose, VPD spokesperson. He was released on recognizance, according to the General District court online database.
We attended part of the first scheduled hearing on October 15 and it was a learning experience. We learned that even the most blatant traffic offenders are often treated lightly. Those who pleaded guilty were often given relatively light penalties. In at least two cases the judge stated that he was lowering the speed of the offense which would "help you out with the DMV."

Only the worst of the worst offenders every make it to court, and yet it seemed that the judge was treating their offenses very lightly. Police almost never write speeding tickets unless motorists are driving at least 10 mph over the speed limit and yet those motorists were only given a slap on the wrist.

We plan to attend the court hearing on Monday morning and will report back on the outcome.

Update: After a couple of hours of traffic citation cases, the judge called the name of the motorist who struck the cyclist. The motorist, John Thorpe, appeared with his attorney. Unfortunately the cyclist wasn't there. Notice of the hearing was sent to the wrong address and the prosecutor was not able to contact him by phone. Three witnesses were also present. The judge agreed to one more postponement, to Monday, January 7 at 9:30am in Vienna.

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