21 November 2017

What Kind Of Man Is He?

Most of us, at one point or another, have broken up with a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse--or simply ended a friendship.

There are, as often as not, sadness and hurt feelings. Fortunately, in most breakups, both parties have at least some sense that the end of their relationship coming and they go their separate ways.

On the other hand, there are those splits that don't end so quietly, especially if one or both parties are particularly angry, resentful or vindictive.  I know:  I've been involved in a couple of them.  In some of the worst cases (including one of mine), the one who's at the receiving end of the breakup says or does something in an attempt to damage the person who broke up the relationship.  Facebook can be a particularly nasty but effective weapon to achieve that.

So, why am I writing about such things on a bike blog?  Well, in Boca Raton, Florida, 65-year-old George Morreale was riding his bicycle near Yamato Road and Interstate 95 in April 2014.  It would be his last bike ride:  A pickup truck struck him, fatally.

Paul Maida, a 33-year-old West Boca Raton resident, claimed that he was in the passenger's seat while his girlfriend, 27-year-old Bianca Fichtel, was at the wheel.

She was initially charged but turned over e-mails that pointed to Maida driving at the time of the crash.  Those e-mails, according to prosecutors, showed that he asked her to switch seats before they returned to the scene of the crash.

So now you know one of the crimes for which Maida was found guilty in July:  leaving the scene of a fatal crash.  He was also found guilty of driving with a suspended license and filing a false report to the police.  He was, however, acquitted of DUI manslaughter.

Yesterday he was sentenced:  12 years in prison.

I know I shouldn't make light of something like this, but this thought popped into my head:  If I were Ms. Fichtel, I wouldn't visit him.


  1. That seems way too light a sentence!

  2. My first reaction was to feel sorry for Bianca Fichtel, and then my wife pointed out that she'd apparently agreed to cover for Maida in the first place (i wonder if she was coerced?)

    i guess he was found not guilty of DUI manslaughter because the state couldn't provide convincing proof that he was indeed impaired at the time.

    i'm surprised at the 12 year sentence. (IMHO it's almost enough.) Too bad that he'll be out on parole in 6.

  3. Coline and Mike--I agree with everything both of you say, though we may never know why Ms. Fichtel covered for him.