Prosecutors say driver threatened bike rider - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Prosecutors say driver threatened bike rider

Tougher charges filed in truck versus bicycle case

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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:15 am

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.

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  • LightBolt posted at 7:02 am on Sat, Apr 14, 2012.

    LightBolt Posts: 5

    Look guys, I have been a Jaguar parts salesman for a while now and I have been driving a car for over 15 years now. This incident just proves how little respect people show towards one another in traffic. I am not on anyone's side, but my personal opinion is that a car driver should be very careful. The fact that you are on a road doesn't give rights over other people. Keep that in mind!!

  • Not4sale posted at 11:09 am on Mon, Dec 19, 2011.

    Not4sale Posts: 173

    "Other riders move over, and allow him to pass when he approaches, Mr. Jones said.
    "O'Dowd and Hull did not."
    There you have it. Arrogant, narcissistic bicyclists breaking the law. Happening more and more since Ironman came to town. Especially on CDA Lake Drive. Mr. Jones I understand your frustration. It's time for the police to start enforcing the law.

    TITLE 49
    49-717. POSITION ON HIGHWAY. (1) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
    (a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
    (b) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    (c) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge

    I believe you were you deliberately provoking Mr. Jones ? Obey the law and move over O'dowd.

  • MikeBike posted at 1:49 pm on Fri, Dec 16, 2011.

    MikeBike Posts: 3

    As a cyclist who has logged 10's of thousands of miles on my bike here in Idaho, I can tell you from experience road rage happens against cyclist more often than you think.

    While I know some bike riders are not courteous to drivers, I don't think it's a fair match putting a vehicle that weights several thousand pounds against ANY cyclist. And to those cyclists who are rude, sharing the road goes both ways.

    As far as the "we pay taxes for the roads" argument I hear by peeved drivers, bike riders drive cars too. In fact, they pay as much or may even pay more taxes than many people who only drive. Not to mention the law gives us every right to the road a car does... and a few more.

    I have been hassled, chased, spit at, and had stuff thrown at me by drivers on the road. I've had logging trucks hassle me on the road too. I think Mr Jones should be made an example and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    And when he gets out of prison, (should he be convicted and sentenced to such), he should also be sentenced to riding a bike for the next few years and knowing how it feels to get treated like a second class citizen.

  • Mark on the Park posted at 7:32 am on Fri, Dec 16, 2011.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    It sounds like Jones got a little Huffy.

  • DeNiles posted at 3:15 pm on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Okay, it was 'my word versus his word' until Jones is quoted as saying, "he (O'Dowd) came after me with his bike". Think about that. It makes no sense at all. A bicycle isn't a weapon of attack, especially if you're sitting on it. Any of you think it is a good concept to assault somebody like an angry adult male while riding a bicycle? You gonna gouge at him with the handle bars, engage him with your spokes? Maybe it is a misquote or taken out of context. I hope so for Jones' sake.

  • Jullee posted at 11:33 am on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    Jullee Posts: 563

    O'Dowd is a lawyer...already the whole thing sounds questionable. ( they just love lawsuits).

  • warrengamer posted at 8:25 am on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    warrengamer Posts: 7

    Perhaps both party's are at fault. The biker for not moving over because he thought he was more important and the driver for allowing anger to take control and then he reacted wrong. I would have held my horn down myself.

  • oneanddone posted at 3:12 am on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    oneanddone Posts: 18

    efromm - seldom was more truth stated in fewer words.

  • efromm posted at 2:24 am on Wed, Dec 14, 2011.

    efromm Posts: 689

    Looks like it will be up to a jury to decide. May the best liar win...

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