18 July 2019

When A Motorist Pays For Endangering A Cyclist

As I've recounted in several (too many!) posts, cyclists are struck, or even killed, by motorists--and not much happens to the motorist.  If anything, the motorist is given tea and sympathy, and the cyclist is blamed for his or her own misfortune, even if the motorist was clearly violating the law. 

What does it take to hold a lawless driver to account?

I think the answer might have just come from San Antonio, Texas:  when the cyclist in question is a police officer on patrol.  

On the evening of 29 June, two San Antonio officers were patrolling the area around Cattleman's Square on bicycles.  They noticed a vehicle that made a turn without signaling and followed it until it stopped a few blocks later.  

One of the officers walked up to the driver, 22-year-old Jonathan Ray Martinez, and asked him to identify himself as the other officer parked his bicycle in front of the car Martinez was driving.  

Jonathan Ray Martinez

The officer who parked his bike noticed that Martinez was reaching into the center console and looked nervous.  Believing that Martinez might attack, he reached into the car to grab Martinez's hands.  He couldn't get a hold, and Martinez started to drive away.

The officer's arm was hit, and his bicycle was run over.  Another officer, in a car, started to chase, but lost, Martinez.  San Antonio police, however,  were able to link him to the incident through the license plate.  

Martinez was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and was booked on an unrelated assault warrant.  His bail totaled $57,000.

Although I sometimes complain about the way police officers treat us, I am glad that the officer who tried to stop Martinez wasn't more seriously injured, and that Martinez is being punished for endangering a cyclist's life with a deadly weapon (his car).  But the cynic (or realist?) in me says that he would have gotten off with a lighter penalty had the person on the bicycle not been a police officer.


  1. Had the cyclist not been a policeman, he'd never even been looked for, let alone arrested and punished.

  2. Mike--Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on that.