Archive for February, 2011

Update: Motorist in Brazil CM Attack Turns Self In

February 28th, 2011 by hughillustration

Here is an English translation (from a human translator, not Babblefish) of a recent article from Brazil concerning the attack Friday night on the Porto Alegre Critical Mass:

Motorist who ran over cyclists in the Capital turns himself in to Civil Police
Ricardo Neis, 47, was escorted by four Special Forces police officers

Updated at 13:46

Ricardo Neis, 47, the Central Bank employee who ran over dozens of
ciclists in the Lower City on Friday, turned himself in to the Civil
Police around noon on Monday to offer a statement.

Neis arrived at the offices of the Transport Crimes Division
accompanied by two lawyers and escorted by four officers from
the Special Forces Battalion (BOE). In order to escape the
press, which was waiting in front of the building, he entered
through the parking (lot).

According to his lawyer Luís Fernando Coimbra Albino, Neis
will claim self-defense on behalf of himself and his 15-year-old
son. The motorist decided to appear in order to state that he
attacked the cyclists after feeling threated by alleged blows
to his black Golf.

On arriving at the police headquarters, the lawyer stated that,
finding himself surrounded by cyclists, Neis tried to “leave
along one side”, but had the windows of his car (containing his
son) broken:

“[Neis] tried to leave the area to protect his physical safety
and that of his son.”

Asked why the vehicle was abandoned, Albino said that his client
was afraid because he had been advised by a relative that he was
being chased by the demonstrators.

Background on the case:

At the start of the evening on Friday, around twelve cyclists were
run over as they went for a ride in the center of Porto Alegre.
Three cyclists were taken to the Pronto Socorro Hospital (HPS),
but they have already been released. After the incident, the
motorist fled the area. His car was found abandoned in an eastern
neighborhood on Saturday morning.

There’s also this article from earlier with an interview with the son and the lawyer. Both say that the car’s windows were broken and that the cyclists were hitting it.

Commenter Ana Tomazini wrote in with this note:
Great article, but things in Brazil doesn’t seem to be going ok for the victims … the biggest press release is already treating as an accident and protecting the criminal … the driver is a well know person, work for the Central Bank and got himself 2 lawyers already …. the cyclists has nothing, not the media, support or money … I can’t see justice been made in this case … It’s a sad, sad reality … All support and efforts are welcome ! Thanks !

Brazil Critical Mass Ride Attacked By Murderous Motorist

February 27th, 2011 by hughillustration

Updated below!

On Friday night in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a motorist intentionally plowed through a large, peaceful crowd of bicyclists participating in that city’s Critical Mass ride. It is a horrific incident, captured on video from several angles. If this is not attempted murder with a deadly weapon, I don’t know what is.

We don’t have much information, but it does appear that at least 12 people were injured. Luckily no one was killed. Treehugger has a translation of a post from the Porto Alegre Critical Mass blog:

Yesterday, as on every last Friday of the month Critical Mass was held, which is a manifestation of what happens in the world when cyclists seek space in traffic, to raise awareness that we ARE PART of the traffic. Bicycles are a self-sustainable, less expensive, and environmentally friendly alternative, even if they’re commonly associated with leisure and recreation.
But what happened yesterday was beyond any expectation we could have had. A driver / killer ran over our group of cyclists. What happened was very scary, and I did not understand what was happening, because we could hear screams and the sound of people falling on the ground, the sound of bodies in the hood, windshield, on the asphalt. I saw legs in the air, helmets, bicycles, arms, all mixed together with parts of the car… all flying and making noise. It was like a horror movie.

Other news sources say the attacker has been identified.

Although police found the badly damaged car on Friday night they have not yet been able to locate it’s driver thought to be the 47-year old owner of the vehicle, Ricardo José Neif [actually the name is Ricardo José Neis according to a commenter here]. While local cyclists have called for the driver to be charged with attempted murder, according to Porto Alegre’s Police Chief, Gilberto Montenegro it is not yet possible to say if the driver intended to run over the cyclists, maybe he hasn’t seen the videos. However, Chief Montenegro has said that If intent is proven the driver may wel face a charge of attempted murder.

One cyclist who was on the ride Camilo Colling, told the Brazilian website Terra Brasil that he spoke to the driver just before the incident, asking him to be patient and stop behaving aggressively towards the riders in his path and warning him that there were children and older people taking part in the ride ahead. The driver allegedly replied “Yes but I’m in a hurry” before ploughing his car in to the group of cyclists in front of him.

Our hearts are with the victims of this horrific crime. Let’s dedicate the March Critical Mass to our friends in Brazil, so they know that they are not alone. And let’s hope the violent attacker will be held accountable for his crime.

Here’s the video (warning: violent images)”

Update: I asked a friend who speaks and reads Portugese to give a rough translation of the latest news. Here’s what he said:

The latest news on their blog is that a particular person was identified as the motorist responsible, and he was planning to turn himself in to the police today (Sunday). Although nobody died, the other Critical Mass riders are upset that press reports have used the term “accident” instead of language like “attack” or “attempted murder”. The Porto Alegre CM community is extremely angry and is planning some protests, including one that already happened and a large rally upcoming on March 3.

This cartoon

translates as something like “well, I’m from Porto Alegre”, or “it’s just that I’m from Porto Alegre”, or “it’s because I’m from Porto Alegre”.

According to this article, there were 10 cyclists hit and 5 of them were taken to a hospital for medical attention. That article also says that it was a hit-and-run.