60-year-old Christopher Thompson was sentenced to five years in prison today in Los Angeles for assaulting two cyclists in a 2008 road rage incident.
Thompson was convicted of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges when he slammed on the brakes of his car in front of two cyclists on purpose in order to "teach them a lesson". The former emergency room physician admitted on the scene.
The district Court was overloaded with letters worldwide by cyclists who urged the court to pass down a sentence that would send the message to drivers that they need to share the road with bicyclists.
"It is time that motorists learn that they must share the road with people on bicycles and that the courts will view assaults on cyclists by motorists as seriously as other assaults with deadly weapons," Deputy District Attorney Mary Hanlon Stone wrote in court papers.
He exchanged words with two riders, Ron Peterson and Christian Stoehr, on July 4, 2008 before passing them and suddenly slamming on his brakes. Peterson went into the car's rear window and suffered broken teeth, cuts and had to have his nose reattached. Stoehr also hit the car and crashed.
Thompsen can thank his luck stars he did not receive the full sentence of ten years which could have been handed down.