Police jail motorist who ran down cyclists during Critical Mass demonstration
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Police jail motorist who ran down cyclists during Critical Mass demonstration

by Shane Stokes at 10:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: General, Advocacy, Injury
Legal situation serious for Ricardo Neis

Critical MassBrazilian police have detained the driver who deliberately drove into a group of cyclists last Friday during a Critical Mass demonstration in Porto Alegre. Following orders from a judge, the 47 year old banker Ricardo Jose Neis will remain in custody while charges of attempted homicide are considered by prosecutors.

Reports vary, but Neis hit an estimated 20 riders at high speed. Miraculously, none were killed but a number were badly injured and taken to hospital afterwards.

He claimed afterwards that he was threatened by the riders before the incident, and that one of them broke his wing mirror.

This was dismissed as fanciful by chief police investigator Gilberto Montenegro. According to a report by Treehugger.com, other eyewitnesses have said that he became increasingly aggressive with the cyclists in the large demonstration, shouting at them and nudging him with his car.

The situation is made worse for him due to the fact that he has a list of previous traffic offences, including an assault, making threats, driving on the sidewalk and driving on the wrong side of the street. Police were apparently initially going to charge him under criminal negligent injury, but that is now very likely to be upgraded to more serious charges.

According to Rodrigo Garcia of the Civil Police, he “was aware of the consequences of the act,” making it clear that they consider he understood the damage he could cause.

His 15 year old son was reported to have been in the car with him when he ploughed into the cyclists in the demonstration.


Photo: previous Critical Mass event in Hungary


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