Firefighter shot cyclist because of child bike seat?

Firefighter shot cyclist

Police: Asheville Firefighter Shot Bicyclist
July 27, 2009

This article is about a driver who shot a cyclist. It originally comes from the WYFF News 4 by Michael Bean. The police say that in Asheville, N.C a driver approached a male cyclist and after some kind of disagreement shot the cyclist.

The cyclist was cycling with his wife and also with his 3-year old son in a child-seat on his bike. Police reported that the driver, Charles Diez, said he was unhappy that the cyclist was riding with his child on a busy urban road. Apparently Diez was so angry about this that he took out a gun and tried to shoot the cyclist in the head. According to the police the bullet entered the cyclist’s helmet but did not hit the cyclist’s head.

Diez, a fire fighter at the Asheville Fire Department was arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder. He is no longer working as a result of the incident and is on “investigative” leave until the end of the investigation.

In my opinion, the driver/fire fighter seems like he was mentally unstable and perhaps jail or psychological therapy is appropriate. Despite the madness of him pulling a gun to resolve a disagreement, the larger issue here is the ability of cyclists to safely ride on roads. Generally it is agreed that promoting cycling improves the health of citizens and reduces the Co2 emissions partly responsible for global warming.

However, many cyclists suffer unsafe conditions, not just because of bad drivers, but also because of a lack of supportive cycling infrastructure. One issue is the lack of specific separate cycling lanes/paths for cyclists to ride in. This means that cyclists must share the same space as cars. This often leads to frustration for drivers and therefore increases the risks of vehicle – cyclist confrontation and sometimes even collision usually resulting in injury or even death for the cyclist. Asheville should consider ways of changing drivers’ attitudes to cyclists and one way it can do this is by investing in separate cycle lanes. This way Asheville residents may realise that cycling is important and supported by the local government and as a result cycling safety and popularity may increase.

Summary of the article is by Mr Holmes.
Bean Michael 'Firefighter Shot Cylist' accessed July 29,2009.

1 comment:

  1. I used to live there and wouldn't describe this incident as indicative of Asheville, which is a small "city" in the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. It's a diverse place, lots of artsy transplants, immigrants and retirees adding to the mix. It's pretty bike friends, as I would say. One time, on a busy street that was rather un-bike friendly, some asshole in a convertible pulled over to berate me for being there. There's one in every bunch; unfortunately, where there's one, there's usually more. Great music scene and beer selection--several of the bars there have well over a hundred regional and international brews.