Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Improperly "Driving" on our Bicycle Boulevard!

This is a follow up article from the RGJ about Larry Pizorno (former Mayoral candidate) hitting a bicyclist with a golf club (while he also carried an illegal concealed firearm).  I won't go into a rant on how lame it is to use a self defense claim when you throw the "first punch" while also holding a firearm as backup.  Even if the cyclist had fully "run over" his dog as his initial police statement reads (and obviously didn't happen), there is no reason to just start swinging a golf club at someone's head.

What I will use the incident to point out, is that the cyclist was riding on the riverside pedestrian path.  This is clearly marked as no bicycles, so the cyclist should not have been there.  My question is why was he there?  After all we have a "designated" bicycle boulevard only 10 feet away, right?

The answer is our bicycle boulevard is anything but bicycle friendly!  Cars routinely hit 30+ mph despite the confusing variable 15-25 mph posted speed limits and ineffective speed bumps.  The vehicle traffic is pretty much continuous and cyclists certainly aren't the focus of the street's use despite it's designation.  Basically only strong, confident riders are comfortable biking on our bicycle boulevard!?

It's obviously bad enough on the bicycle boulevard that the cyclist (whom Larry Pizorno described as "He had a death look on his face.") chose to ride on the congested pedestrian path rather than "risk" our bicycle boulevard!!! 

It makes me wonder if maybe I'm not tough enough to be riding my bike on the bicycle boulevard!?  I mean I'm a confident rider....but I certainly don't can't channel a death look.  So perhaps in the future even I will stick to illegally riding on pedestrian path.  At least until the city of Reno can make our bicycle boulevard something other than just another road with a special name.

In the mean time enjoy the RGJ article on how to improperly wield a golf club....

Larry "Wolf Man" Pizorno shook his head and muttered, "He's lying" as he listened to the man he allegedly beat with a golf club testify against him in a preliminary hearing Tuesday in downtown Reno.

The 79-year-old former Reno mayoral candidate was accused of battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Pizorno, who declined to speak during the hearing, leaned back in his chair several times, occasionally muttering to himself and whispering to his attorney as Reno resident Edward Spaulding talked about the events that led up to the reported beating. Witness Bruce Brown of Reno and the arresting officer also recapped the incident during the hearing Tuesday in Reno Justice Court.

On Feb. 12, officers responded to a call of a disturbance between two individuals near Riverside Drive and Washington Street, according to an arrest report.

Upon arrival, they found Spaulding bleeding from the right side of his head. He told officers that Pizorno had hit him with a golf club, according to the arrest report.

In an earlier interview, Pizorno told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the act was in self-defense and that he felt threatened by the man on the bicycle.

Pizorno often walks with his therapy dogs along the path and stops to talk to the homeless, he said. A sign posted along the path prohibits people from riding bicycles on the walkway.

"I always bring my golf club to push trash and dog poop off the walkway," Pizorno said just before his preliminary hearing. "I use it as my cane."

Police said Pizorno told the arresting officer that Spaulding had run over his dog with a bicycle and so Pizorno swung his golf club him.

"You bet I feared for my life," Pizorno said last week. "He had a death look on his face.

"It wasn't a spur the moment thing, and it's not something I would ever do for no reason," he said, adding he was beaten by two men several years ago while walking his dogs.

On Tuesday, Pizorno's attorney, Jaci Millsap, declined to comment on the case, but confirmed in court that her client was "viciously beaten on the same pathway" years earlier.

Pizorno told police he only meant to hit the man on the body and not on the head, according to the arrest report.

Brown, the witness, also described the incident at the preliminary hearing.

"I heard a little yip, and I saw a guy tap the dog with the bike a little bit, then bam, the other guy (Pizorno) hit (Spaulding) on the head," Brown said.

"It was actually kind of funny, (Pizorno) was saying, 'Stop your crying and your sniveling,'" Brown said. "He was very condescending about it."

The impact landed Spaulding in the emergency room at Renown Regional Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

Spaulding said during the hearing that he politely asked Pizorno to move as he came up behind Pizorno before the incident.

"I came up behind him, and I asked if he could please move and he said no," Spaulding said.

Spaulding said he tried to ride around Pizorno tapping one of his dogs on the tail with his tire.

"I felt something pull me from behind," Spaulding said. "I thought he had slapped me on the side of my face, but when I touched my face, it was soaked in blood."

"He proceeded to tell me that I was lucky I didn't get my teeth knocked out of me, and that I should quit my crying," he said, adding he had a 4-inch gash on his head that eventually needed four staples.

"I lost a massive amount of blood," Spaulding said at the preliminary hearing. "It was the most horrific thing that ever happened to me."

In a letter to the Washoe County District Attorney's office, Spaulding said he suffered headaches, cognitive problems and had trouble sleeping, among other ailments. Eventually, he took a week off work and discontinued his online schooling to earn his master's degree as an addiction counselor.

When asked by Milsap if he had sought further medical care, Spaulding said that had not since the incident.

Pizorno, known for wearing a wolfskin to Nevada games, is set for an arraignment on May 27 at the Washoe County District Court.

1 comment:

  1. Why can't there be sharrows or a striping of bike lanes on Bike Boulevard? Do the merchants have any say?