COEUR d'ALENE - A more serious charge has been filed against a Post Falls man accused of threatening or attempting to run a bicyclist off the road with his pickup truck, then stopping his vehicle and pushing the rider down an embankment.
Larry G. Jones, 64, has been charged with felony aggravated assault for the vehicle-versus-bicycle incident on Sept. 15. On Monday, Jones pleaded not guilty, and a probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 30 in front of Magistrate Clark Peterson.
Prosecutors in court documents said Jones allegedly threatened "by word and/or act to do violence upon the person of Luke O'Dowd, with a deadly weapon," in this case Jones' Chevy Silverado pickup.
Jones initially was charged only with misdemeanor battery.
The criminal charges arose after Jones encountered O'Dowd, 31, of Coeur d'Alene, and O'Dowd's father-in-law riding their bikes on Fernan Lake Road.
Reports by Kootenai County sheriff's investigators said Jones drove up behind O'Dowd and his father-in-law, then allegedly turned into O'Dowd with his pickup truck and slammed on the brakes.
O'Dowd told investigators that once Jones stopped his truck, Jones exited the truck and pursued O'Dowd on foot. O'Dowd escaped.
Further down the road, Jones again caught up with O'Dowd and cut him off, swerving in front of him with his pickup, according to investigators' reports.
Again, Jones exited his vehicle and approached O'Dowd.
O'Dowd's left foot was still locked into one of his bike pedals. He was pushing his bike with his right leg to get the bike going and get around and away from Jones and his vehicle.
But Jones grabbed O'Dowd as he moved from the right side of the rear of the truck to the left.
Jones, allegedly, threw a punch at O'Dowd, and pushed him over the embankment, where O'Dowd rolled down to a barbed wire fence.
Last month, O'Dowd, an in-house attorney for a stock brokerage, told The Press in an interview that he thought the case has been undercharged. He believed assault charges were more appropriate.
"When I got home, I was glad to be alive," O'Dowd recalled. "I was scared for my life. I don't think drivers on the road should be able to wield that kind of force against riders."
Jones told The Press he has a cabin up in that area, and travels there four times a month during the season. He has had the cabin 11 years, and hasn't had problem with cyclists before or since his run-in with O'Dowd.
Other riders move over, and allow him to pass when he approaches, he said.
O'Dowd and Hull did not.
Jones said he did nothing wrong in this case.
"He came after me with his bike," Jones said. "I pushed him out of the way."
Jones said he remembers yelling at O'Dowd and his father-in-law, saying, "'Put some mirrors on your bike so you can see when somebody is behind you.'"
O'Dowd yelled back, telling Jones he had messed with the wrong person and had a lawsuit coming.
Jones got back in his vehicle and took off, only to be arrested a short time later at his home. He currently is out of custody.