Monday, March 16, 2009

Cyclist shot by paintball on Mines Road - perps arrested

Reprinted from Cycletrons mailing list without permission, I am trying
to figure out contact information. OK, that's a total copout but this
mail has gone viral, I'm a publicity whore, and this is a pretty good story.

If I have it right the Cycletrons are guys who work at Lawrence Livermore
and do some solid hardmen rides at lunch. LLNL is in some great cycling
terrain which includes Mines Road. Mines Road, as Patrick indicates, has
one way in and not many ways out - if you don't want to go back through
Livermore, you have to go to Patterson or San Jose - 45 twisty miles or so
later. Not the best place to go postal if you don't want to get caught.

Yesterday evening (about 5:30 pm), while cycling up Mines road just
south of Tesla Rd I was shot (with paint gun) by a passing vehicle. At
first I thought it might have been a badly timed rock coming off the
vehicle, then I felt the burning sensation, then noticed passengers in
he passing white mustang pop their heads back up from the back seat
and realized I'd been shot. I wasn't sure if it was a pellet gun or bb
gun. I immediately flagged down the next vehicle and asked if they
could get the license number of the vehicle but the mustang had
already gone to warp speed so the chances were slim. I did not have my
phone. A few minutes later, when the shock wore off, I realized the
weapon was most likely a paint gun (sound was familiar from my one
experience with that 'sport'). Fortunately it only grazed my back and
was not a direct hit (no paint).
This kind of e-mail usually ends with 'be on the lookout for...'

....not this time!

Remember, I was going south on Mines. There are not too many escape
routes for the average vehicle.

I continued on my ride eventually arriving at the Del Valle kiosk.
Did you see a white mustang come though here in the last half hour
I asked the attendant. sure did was his reply.

That's when the story turns to the cyclist favor.

Three troupers, a bunch of park rangers, and a patrol helicopter
narrowed the search quickly.

They found the teenagers (white mustang and friends in white pickup) on
the southwest end of the lake, took significant video footage of them
from the air engaging a number of activities to warrant trouble in
court, surrounded them and placed them under arrest in the middle of
the grass field in their wet clothing on a cold evening extracting a
full confession.

Turns out at least one of the teenagers actually lives on Collier
Canyon Rd. He asked the officer if he could apologize to me in person.
When he did, I shared with him that I have kids his age and I tried to
get him to visualize what he would do if one of my kids had shot his
mom or dad while they were out riding their bike trying to stay in

My hope is that this experience for this group of teenagers serves to
at least reduce the number of aggressive vehicles out there by one
white mustang and one extended cab white pickup, especially in the area
of Collier Canyon and Del Valle/Mines Rd.

-Patrick Dempsey

1 comment:

cafiend said...

I got shot by a kid with a pellet gun one evening on the street THAT PASSES THE POLICE STATION! Haaaa ha ha ha! I pulled out the cell phone before the welt even popped up. Then I chased the kids into a road with no outlet, so I got a good look at the driver and vehicle as it passed me coming out as I went in. The police cruiser was waiting at Main Street when they came back out.

Sadly, the shooter was the son of my boss's wife's friend. Fortunately, she thought a little brush with the PD would be a good formative experience for him, under the circumstances. It felt good to nail that carload. We triumph so rarely.