Bicyclist Road Rage in Mill Valley (CA Penal Code 245(a)(1))

Last Modified: October 14, 2020
May 6, 2014 | Rabin Nabizadeh | Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Most of us have heard about the phenomenon of “road rage” many times.  Usually, someone becomes angry or violent while driving a vehicle.  But, have you ever heard of road rage occurring on a bicycle?  For one Marin County tech executive, this is the new reality.  40-year-old Kentfield resident (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was cycling near the intersection of East Blithedale Avenue and Camino Alto (Mill Valley) when a 55-year-old truck driver somehow angered him.  The cyclist then proceeded to assault the man, beating him until he was unconscious.  He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon (ADW).

Yet, how can a man on a bicycle be accused of assaulting someone with a deadly weapon when he had no weapon with him?  That’s because in the state of California, assault with a deadly weapon is not only a “wobbler” (it may be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or as a felony), but you needn’t used an actual weapon in order to fit the criteria for the crime.  According to (CA Penal Code 245(a)(1)), assaulting someone with a force that is “likely to cause great bodily injury” counts as using a “deadly weapon” and the same penalties apply.

If he is convicted of a misdemeanor charge pursuant to the above section of the Penal Code, he may face a $10,000 fine, up to 1 year in county jail, community service, anger management classes, and payment of restitution to the victim.  On the other hand, if he is convicted of a felony charge of the same, he will face up to 4 years in state prison, the same  fines, and (likely) a strike on his record according to California’s “three strikes” law.


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