Judge throws out road rage assault case against cyclist in spite of video evidence.
Florida has a three foot passing law, though you wouldn’t know it from watching Ken Bereski’s video in Miami Beach.
As you can see in the video, the driver of a large black SUV passed within inches of the cyclist. Bereski asked the driver to please use a little more care, but the driver responded by opening his car door, balling his fists and ‘exchanging words’ with Bereski. When Bereski rode off, the driver of the big black SUV, Ernesto Alvarez Perez, pulled alongside the cyclist and swerved into him, forcing Bereski to the right to avoid getting hit.
Bereski flagged down a passing Miami Beach police cruiser. After he mentioned the video, police arrested Perez for aggravated assault. Prosecutors used Bereski’s footage as evidence in filing felony assault charges against the driver of the SUV.
When Miami Date Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto watched the video, though, he told the cyclist it’s his fault for riding too far from the far right edge, in spite of the cars parallel parked on the obviously narrow lane. Cueto tossed the case out.
Valid defenses against criminal assault include self defense and no credible threat. I doubt the driver, Ernesto Perez, feared for his life. For a ‘credible threat,’ the victim — in this case Mr Bereski — must have a legitimate fear of injury from his attacker. Maybe Judge Cueto believes somebody deliberately swerving a 6000 pound SUV toward him is all in good fun.
Cheers to the police who arrested Perez, and to the Miami Dade attorney for prosecuting this case. Jeers to motorbrain moron Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto for dismissing the case out without considering the merits and excusing purposefully dangerous driving. One wonders if Cueto also blames rape victims.
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