Sometimes you scratch your head and wonder what people are possibly thinking.
Dr. Christopher Thompson had pretty nice life going: head of emergency services for Beverly Hospital, owned a medical record company, had a nice house on a California canyon down the road from the Governator. Nice life. He also had a nasty habit of harassing cyclists who rode in the canyon by his home. He graduated from yelling and cursing to stopping short in front of cyclists by slamming the on the brakes of his luxury car.
He probably would have gotten away with that behavior except last summer he stopped short in front of two guys who were unable to avoid him. One suffered a separated shoulder; he got off easy. The other slammed into the rear windshield suffering shattered teeth, broken bones and lacerations that left his face permanently scarred. Dr. Thompson told the officer who came to investigate that crash that he did it "to teach them a lesson."
Last week, Dr. Thompson was found guilty of 6 felonies and a misdemeanor. He was found guilty in part because other cyclists testified that he had done his brake slam maneuver previously. Which is horribly sad, because as an ER doctor he had to know how vulnerable a cyclist is.
I've been thinking about this case a lot in part because Steve and so many of our friends are cyclists. Over the past for years, I've seen plenty of drivers act like jerks to runners and riders. Every time I wonder what makes someone mentally unstable enough to think that his car is an acceptable weapon.
For Dr. Thompson, he's in custody awaiting sentencing. It could be up to 10 years, but it's certainly likely to be much less. He'll almost definitely lose his medical license. Hopefully, the two men he injured will prevail in some civil litigation also. Seems like an awful lot to lose simply because one sunny afternoon Dr. Thompson decided he was entitled to the entire road.