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June Bug

Coal rolling teen who hit cyclists charged with felony

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Waller County is just northwest of the Houston area and many Houston cyclists ride out that way. I honestly didn't think the kid would be charged, but here we are. 

A diesel truck has to be specially modified to "roll coal" which consists of blowing out  clouds of black, sooty, partially combusted exhaust fumes.  Rolling coal is used as an anti-environmental statement and to harass, for example, bicyclists.  This modification is illegal in some states, but of course not in Texas. 

In this particular incident numerous cyclists were injured, several severely,  when a 16-year-old driver tried to roll coal on a cycling group on a training ride. 

It is widely agreed that the incident was improperly/incompetently  investigated on scene; the Waller County DA is taking a strong stand here. 

 

Quote

Teen Driver Who Hit Cyclists While Coal Rolling Faces Felony Charges In Texas

Witnesses claim the teenager was taunting the pack of bicyclists with his truck, trying to spew exhaust over them, known as "Coal Rolling".

Waller County, Texas, officials announced felony charges on Monday against a 16-year-old pickup driver accused of crashing into a group of cyclists while trying to blow exhaust on them. The collision sent four bicyclists to the hospital.

The Waller County district attorney said his office had filed six charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against the driver, one for each biker hit by the truck, the culmination of a weeks-long investigation into the incident. The driver voluntary surrendered and will remain in custody until a juvenile court decision.

On Sept. 25, a group of cyclists were training for a triathlon when the driver started taunting them, the bikers said, revving his engine to spew exhaust on them in what’s known as “rolling coal.” When the driver sped up to reach another group of bikers, he hit six of the eight people riding along, causing a massive crash and sending four cyclists to the hospital, three with serious injuries.

Chase Ferrell, one of the cyclists who was behind the injured group, said the driver got out of the vehicle at the time and asked if he was going to go to jail.

“You did something really freaking stupid,” Ferrell recalled, adding: “You should go to jail.”

The driver wasn’t arrested, however, and his parents showed up shortly after the crash. Police arrived and let the teen go home without any citations, prompting an uproar from the Houston-area cycling community.

A legal representative for the driver said that juvenile confidentiality laws prevented comment but said: “My client and his family continue to pray for the quick recovery of the injured bikers.”

Officials said they appreciated the patience of the victims while investigators sifted through evidence.

“We wish them the speediest of recoveries on their long journey ahead, and remind everyone to share the roads, obey the traffic laws, and to treat each other with the respect that we all deserve,” the district attorney said.

 

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I've been rolled on Parmer and it blinded me until it dissipated, not to mention who likes breathing in that shit?  Why do we even have car inspections?  Illegal modifications, racing exhausts, etc.  I hope that kid does jail time, at least as long as those cyclists are rehabbing.

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1 hour ago, AntonioGG said:

I've been rolled on Parmer and it blinded me until it dissipated, not to mention who likes breathing in that shit?  Why do we even have car inspections?  Illegal modifications, racing exhausts, etc.  I hope that kid does jail time, at least as long as those cyclists are rehabbing.

no one enforces it. because no one cares. the whole government is run by frat boys.

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13 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

I hope that kid does jail time, at least as long as those cyclists are rehabbing.

I was in physical therapy about five years ago.  A woman was coming in for treatment at the same time as I was seeing my physio.  She was a year out from having been hit by a motorist on Parmer who had decided that veering onto the shoulder at speed  and hitting two  cyclists was preferable to running over a cardboard box in her lane. 

She was up and walking and superficially looked fairly normal, but the results of the trauma to her body will be forever.  

Two of the cyclists hit by the coal rolling a**hat are probably in the same situation.  Their injuries were severe enough that they were life flighted to a major trauma center.   It appears from damage to the truck that the teen driver hit some/all of the riders from behind; he didn't sideswipe the group. 

I'm interested in the demographics of Waller County.  This is the same county where Sandra Bland, who was headed from a job interview at Prairieview A & M, was pulled over for not signaling a lane change.  I suspect this is an extremely conservative good ol' boy county with a marginally corrupt police dept, and perhaps a lot of not  so conservative people moving in.  Felony charges against a white teen-aged boy for harassing and injuring cyclists  are a bold step for the DA. I hope s/he survives their next election. 

Edited by June Bug
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34 minutes ago, June Bug said:

I suspect this is an extremely conservative good ol' boy county with a marginally corrupt police dept, and perhaps a lot of not  so conservative people moving in.  Felony charges against a white teen-aged boy for harassing and injuring cyclists  are a bold step for the DA. I hope s/he survives their next election. 

my personal take is that this is the structure for law enforcement in most of the US. I'm never surprised anymore.

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55 minutes ago, June Bug said:

I suspect this is an extremely conservative good ol' boy county with a marginally corrupt police dept, and perhaps a lot of not  so conservative people moving in.  

You could have just said "Texas" at this point. There are only 2 kinds of counties in this state - those that let people like this walk and those that "send a message" by trying but then ultimately acquitting them. This is why I limit my riding to trails and urban situations where I have some semblance of control over the circumstances. County roads are a death trap in my opinion.

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Excellent blog post by Bike Law, the law firm representing the 6 injured cyclists: Felony Charges for Waller Driver

The lawyer writing the blog deconstructs the statement from the Arnold's (parents of the minor teen driver) lawyer noting some misstatements and lies. For example, the teen did NOT call 911.  The teen did not render or offer to render any kind of aid. 

The truck is a diesel F 250 and there is quite a bit of obvious damage to the bumper. Note the stain on the pavement, which I'm assuming is radiator fluid; the truck's license plate ended up on on one of the bicycles. 

Screenshot 2021-11-12 11.55.06 AM.png

Edited by June Bug
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I’m from there and It’s a very conservative county and doubt many not so conservative people are moving in as most people in the area are employed in oil or live stock. Likely most of those riders were conservative.  Unfortunately ass hats seem to get off the hook in both the conservative counties and the liberal counties all over the country. This one seems particularly malicious and I hope he goes down!

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1 hour ago, 4fun said:

This one seems particularly malicious and I hope he goes down!

It will be interesting to follow.  The Grand Jury had zero problem returning an indictment, probably because it's so egregious.  The BikeLaw blog entry referenced a Special Prosecutor.  What's up with that?

There was also an "adult" in the passenger seat, but name and age have not been released.  Maybe another teenager?

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On 11/12/2021 at 2:24 PM, June Bug said:

It will be interesting to follow.  The Grand Jury had zero problem returning an indictment, probably because it's so egregious.  The BikeLaw blog entry referenced a Special Prosecutor.  What's up with that?

There was also an "adult" in the passenger seat, but name and age have not been released.  Maybe another teenager?

The county DA took over from the city DA because:

1. The city cop did not conduct a proper crime scene investigation.

2. The father of the driver is friends with the city DA

3. The father is friends with the mayor.

 

I have zero sympathy for the kid. His asshat lawyer actually used the defense" think about his future".

How about the future of the cyclists who were hit?

Throw the book at this kid.

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2 hours ago, Hugh said:

The county DA took over from the city DA because:

1. The city cop did not conduct a proper crime scene investigation.

2. The father of the driver is friends with the city DA

3. The father is friends with the mayor.

 

I have zero sympathy for the kid. His asshat lawyer actually used the defense" think about his future".

How about the future of the cyclists who were hit?

Throw the book at this kid.

Reminds me of the Stanford rapist that got off on the same defense.

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