Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Words can't express...

...the outrageousness of this story.

Charles Diez, an Asheville, NC fireman shot a bicycle rider on a Sunday morning because he was upset that the victim was bike riding with his child on a heavily traveled roadway.

The good news is that the fireman has been arrested, charged with attempted first degree murder, and has had bond set at $500,000. The bad news (well I should say more bad news) is that the fireman has been placed on paid investigative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

The weird but great news is that the intended victim was hit in his bicycle helmet, according to police.They said the bullet penetrated the outer lining of the helmet but did not actually hit the victim's head.

Based on not a lot of data, let me do some rampant speculation of my own by making some observations and questions:
  • No doubt there were words exchanged. If it were me and a stranger came up in a car and accused me of endangering my child by carrying him on my bike, I'd no doubt call him (I think accurately enough) an "asshole".
  • The only child endangerment going on is being perpetrated by the guy with the gun.
  • Domestic terrorists? Bike-shooting gunmen? What the heck is going on in North Carolina? I've visited Raleigh on a couple of business trips and found it pretty pleasant, even a little hip for a Southern city. Obviously, I was missing something.
  • Traffic on a Sunday morning on any street in a town of 75,000 can't be that heavy.
  • There are inevitable perceived parallels to the Cambridge police / Gates story as it relates to potential abuse of power by public servants. (I wonder what race the bike rider, who is not identified, was?)
  • This is a great example of a great reason for background checks not only to purchase a firearm, but also background checks to renew a license to own and use a firearm. (In other words, the owner, not the hardware, should be registered and should periodically have to prove that he is not a menace for owning the weapon.)
  • Paid leave? Come on! What's to investigate? Chief, read the police report and cut your losses!
  • I want a helmet like the one the bicyclist had!
It's worth going to the story link above to read the 14 or so pages of comments. They are very telling. (The fireman actually has some defenders.)

I have to ask the question, how can this happen in a city named the "most vegetarian-friendly small city in America" by the PETA?


Jack and Raquel said...

I was shocked to hear of this. I live in Western North Carolina and have not experienced anything that made me feel unsafe or threatened while riding here. Perhaps this was a "one off" case of a nut with a gun. Let's hope.


PS: Great Blog!

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