LA Doc Gets 5 Years for Hitting Bicyclists

Physician convicted of assault for braking hard to 'teach them a lesson'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2010 2:54 PM CST
From left, victims Josh Crosby, 35, Patrick Watson, 39, hugging Deputy District Attorney Mary Hanlon Stone, and Ron Peterson, 41, gather outside the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles on Monday,...   (AP Photo/Pool, Mel Melcon)
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(Newser) – A California doctor was sentenced to 5 years in prison today for seriously injuring two cyclists with his car. Christopher Thompson, 60, was convicted in November of assault with a deadly weapon and other charges for slamming on his brakes after pulling in front of the bicyclists. Judge Scott Millington called the case a "wake-up call" to cyclists and motorists and noted that Thompson had shown a lack of remorse for his role in the accident—according to a police officer, he said he braked hard to "teach them a lesson."

The cyclists were thrown into Thompson's rear window; one suffered broken teeth and a broken nose, the other a separated shoulder, the Los Angeles Times reports. Thompson wept in court today, saying, "I would like to apologize deeply, profoundly from the bottom of my heart." Millington said the case illustrated a need for more bike lanes and for motorists to be mindful of the vulnerability of bicycle riders.

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