Lawyer says teen who crashed into six Houston-area bicyclists was 'inexperienced' driver – Houston Chronicle

  • Whatsapp

Investigators with the Waller Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety do measurements for a crash scene reconstruction along U.S. 290 Business in Waller on Sept. 27, 2021. On Sept. 25, a teenager driving a pickup truck struck and injured six bicyclists on a training ride.
Regardless of more severe charges potentially facing a 16-year-old who struck six bicyclists in Waller County last weekend, the local prosecutor said Wednesday morning the act of “rolling coal” on walkers or bikers “is at a minimum an assault.”
“They are causing their vehicle to ‘spit’ on a living, breathing, human being that is worthy of dignity and not having his or her person violated,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “That simple assault is easily elevated to a jail eligible offense if bodily injury occurs, which can be caused by entry of toxic particles into mouth, nose and eyes.”
Witnesses said the teenager, who officials have not identified because he is a minor, slammed into six riders Saturday morning in Waller as he accelerated his Ford pickup to blow exhaust fumes on the peleton of bikers on a training ride.
’SEEMS LIKE AN EXCUSE’: Officials grill Union Pacific over hours-long train traffic in East End
Four cyclists were taken to area hospitals and two were injured but refused medical treatment, officials said. The Waller Police Department is still investigating the crash, Mathis said, and eventually will turn its investigation over to his office.
Rick DeToto, a Houston lawyer hired by the teen’s family, called the boy “inexperienced” and characterized the crash as serious but not prompted by someone out to commit mayhem.
“The police did an investigation at the scene.,” DeToto said in an email. “This included speaking with eyewitnesses… After their investigation they decided not to charge my client and did not issue him a traffic citation. Clearly, they decided a crime had not occurred.”
Ultimately, Mathis has said that decision likely will be decided by a grand jury or the juvenile justice system once police finish their investigation.
The case has drawn national attention as many questioned the decision to allow the juvenile to leave the scene after speaking to police.
3 women charged in alleged kidnapping of toddler from Garland motel, northeast of Dallas
Driver dies after slamming into light pole in Third Ward
Man arrested who posed as law enforcement to sexually assault student, Brazoria authorities say
Man convicted of capital murder in 2015 robbery, fatal shooting of security guard
“We’re afraid that if this driver gets away with rolling coal and running down these cyclists, then other drivers will get away with it too — not just in Waller, but anywhere,” said Joe Cutrufo, executive director of the advocacy group BikeHouston.
Many online and in phone calls to Waller officials have speculated that police would have acted differently if the teen had used a gun or knife to harm others as opposed to a motor vehicle. Others have suggested the county’s close-knit politics may play a factor.
Mathis disputed those allegations in a post Tuesday.
“The lead prosecutor on this case is in communication with the Waller Police Department and gathering information from them as they make it available,” Mathis wrote. “We are also aware of the identity of the juvenile and can guarantee that from the perspective of this office he will receive no favorable or unfavorable treatment based upon who his family may or may not be.”
[email protected]
Dug Begley is the transportation writer for the Houston Chronicle.
While paying respects at a memorial outside of NRG Park, some attendees raised more questions about the chaotic scene not even 48 hours prior. 
By Zach Despart Dug Begley and John Tedesco


Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *