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 !

35 Responses to “Update: Motorist in Brazil CM Attack Turns Self In”

  1. nikkita says:

    hello! what took the guy 3 days to turn himself in if he was the victim, this guy clearly had a murderous intent and attacked the bicyclists, can we send message to the Brazilian embassy, the city of Port Alegre so this guy does not get away, please!

  2. Jack says:

    The roads are also not exclusive to the bike riders as well. The driver had every right to share the road with the cyclists as well, not having the cyclists block his path. The driver had every right to be on that road legally and his urgency to use that road could have been a medical emergency. I watched several other tapes and the driver actually pleaded to the bikers to let him through but the bikers grew hostile toward him and pretty much told him to shut up and acted aggressive and continued to block him on purpose, some even going slower on purpose. The bikers could have simply filed to the side, called out to the others in front to do the same, and let the car through, taking no more than 10 seconds of their time. Both driver and cyclists were wrong in this one but it was the cyclists who provoked the driver to flip out and react in this unpredictable manner.

    Critical Mass should be about promoting bikes on the streets and sharing the streets in a respectful manner with cars, moving over allowing them to pass if they need to. That is what will bring positive light to the movement, and win supporters and bring unity with non-bike riders. Not taking up entire streets unannounced and purposefully slowing down cars, and creating traffic behind them for miles, and acting aggressively toward non-bike riders or those who don’t understand the movement.

  3. Jack says:

    nikkita: have you ever hired a lawyer before? it doesn’t take 24 hours to hire, consult, contacting the legal authorities to secure a safe surrender, etc.

  4. Charlie says:

    Jack, you’re saying that the driver had the right to murder other people because “he had an emergency”. Are you serious!?

    Okay, keep thinking… It seems you don’t understand the situation.

    The car could have simply wait some seconds and turn in the next intersection if he was in a hurry.

    It also seems you’ve never been in any Critical Mass, cause if you pretend to move 200 people in order to let 1 pass you’re kiding. And everybody knows that in a critical Mass cyclists go with bats and they hit all the cars and destroy all the way they pass through. Come on!!

  5. Jack says:


    Perhaps you should take a class in reading comprehension. Did you even make it 1/2 way past what I wrote? Please reread my last line in the first paragraph.

    Have you ever been to Brazil? Or anywhere in the world for that matter? You’re use to our roads in the States where its a grid system. In Brazil, roads run on forever, and turning in an intersection usually leads you to an entire different part of town or a dead end.

    No, I don’t ride in illegal rides. I ride Five Boro, Century Twin, MS Tour for Cancer, etc. – LEGAL rides that close off streets or have police escorts. Rides that raise awareness but at same time protect not only the bikers but also the drivers.

    Critical Mass are viewed negatively around the world for a reason. If they were so great, etc. – then it wouldn’t have such a negative image. Ie: 5 boro bike tours, NY Marathons, the Great San Fran Chinatown ride, Bike Montreal, etc. all have a positive feeling and image and locally supported by even non-bikers. I wonder why.

  6. Jeff says:

    Jack: Although I see your good intention, I don’t believe your argument is a good one. Had the 100 bikers actually been cars, would the driver had the same right to move all 100 cars to the side to get through? No

    The fact that the driver had an emergency means nothing as well. If it were an emergency, get an ambulance. Even if it were an emergency and he arrived upon a traffic jam, he wouldn’t try to move all the cars to the side. He would find an alternative route.

    The bikers grew hostile in the exact same manner vehicle drivers would, if a guy in the back told everyone to move aside so he could get through.

    YES, the bikers acted wrongly in provoking him or doing any damage to his car. However, that does not give anyone the right to seriously injure people.

    You are right that the roads are NOT exclusive to bikers. But they are not exclusive to cars either.

  7. Ooh, LEGAL rides with police escorts! What a wonderful thing that is! Perfectly controlled, nothing untidy or accidental there. All with the blessings of the authorities. Yes, that’s the way to go, Jack — with the approval of the government, corporations, the media and psychotic motorists you are unlikely to be run over. Perfectly safe, orderly, and proper.


  8. Jack says:

    Jeff: It is against the law in ALL states for bikes to ride in the center of the road used by vehicles. All bikes must travel in the same direction as the vehicles + as close to the curb for vehicles to pass, regardless if the vehicle is an emergency or not.

    The bikers broke the law as the driver also broke the law. But it was the cyclists who attacked and provoked the driver after they had broken the law themselves and refuse to acknowledge their wrong doing.

  9. Jack says:

    Hugh: Yes, and they work very well. Thousands of bikers participate in many biking events that go year-round in a city of 19 million people, with over 2 million registered vehicles on the roads on any given day in one of the most densest and busiest cities in the U.S., and the number of incidents per year doesn’t even reach more than double digits. (and when there are incidents, its mainly because of illegal rides such as Critical Mass)


  10. Jack says:

    My closing argument:

    I’m an active cyclist myself and I participate in many riding events, and ride often with friends, family, etc.

    When we’re riding, and often in groups of four riders or more, we follow the laws of the road (which is also in effect in every state), and that is ride in the direction of traffic, and as close to the curb as possible when there are no bike lanes on the road. This also means my group riding in single file when a vehicle is behind us, etc.

    When there are no cars around, we’ll pair up and ride two by two, but when there’s a car, we form a single file and let the cars pass us. I bet if we rode “sweep the road” style, weaving all over the road, and being obnoxious and finally a crazy person out there hit us, you would say we deserved it. What’s the difference?

  11. Perhaps if you obey every law, even to the point of endangering yourself by riding single-file in the door zone, and if beg the permission of motorists to use “their” roads, and if you behave in every way like a good little boy, they will avoid killing you. Good luck!

  12. palito says:

    I am from Porto Alegre and attended Critical Mass last Friday, as i always do. I was riding in the back end, next to my workmate/friend when this lunatic started to run him over, the first of many. There was no provocation at that time. From the moment we had our first encounter with him, Ricardo José Neis, the driver of a VW golf, he had at least three blocks to turn right or left and drive away from us, I don’t know where you get the notion that roads in Brazil “run on forever, and turning in an intersection usually leads you to an entire different part of town or a dead end.” Nope, not in that area of Porto Alegre.
    I don’t need you to tell me he had reasons to do what he did, based on nothing but what you read on the internet. Even his 15 yo son, who had the privilege of an unique dad-son experience, watching it all from the passenger seat, said his dad was the one provoking first.
    How is that?

  13. Jack says:

    Anyway, closing argument is: Provoke and you might get a reaction.

    Clearly the riders were executing “corking” and disrupting traffic on purpose.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass (read last paragraphs in link).

  14. nikkita says:

    Jack, you are such a goody boy but you forget one thing: CM is a demonstration and a protest. Or are you also against our right to protest and hopefully get respect and visibility from motorists? Ooooh! we should be more POLITE, well maybe Jesus should have been more polite with the Romans, maybe Galileo should have been more polite with the catholic church, maybe the French revolutionaries should have been more polite with the king, maybe the american revolutionaries should have been more polite with the Brits, and maybe in the middle east they should be more polite with their benevolent dictators!

  15. Jack says:

    Protesting doesn’t mean to break the law. That includes harassing other people who disagree, violence, looting, destruction, etc.

    Last time I checked, Brazil nor the U.S. is in a state of dictatorship or monarchy. There’s no need to break laws, engage in a state of war, or commit violence to get your message across.

    In fact, you lose credibility for your cause if you break the law to promote your cause in a democratic state.

    Your argument = FAIL.

  16. Jack says:

    Nikkita: One more thing. Traffic laws, etc. are not the faults of drivers. Don’t take your anger or disagreements out on them. They’re just as innocent as the bikers and also follow the rules and laws, even if you don’t agree with the laws/rules put into place.

    Instead take it up to your politicians, appropriate authorities, department of trafffic, etc. if you don’t agree with them and want change.

    By breaking traffic laws and irritating drivers, you’re just empowering the system to work against you.

  17. Lynn says:

    “It is against the law in ALL states for bikes to ride in the center of the road used by vehicles. All bikes must travel in the same direction as the vehicles + as close to the curb for vehicles to pass, regardless if the vehicle is an emergency or not.”
    Are you speaking of the United States?? If so you should review laws more closely. In most states a bicycle is required to follow the SAME laws as other vehicles they ARE allowed to use the whole lane just as a car would and ARE NOT required to stay as far right as possible, in fact it is very dangerous for bikes to remain close to the curb. As a bicyclist you should know about this danger, it is common knowlege.

    Most of these laws that require bicycles to follow the same laws as cars and ride in the street are good laws but impatient drivers too often choose not to allow bicycles the same rights. Bicycles belong on the road where it is actually safer than the sidewalk. Unfortunately auto drivers get upset with the slower moving bicycles then overreact and put the bicyclist in harms way because of their own impatience.

    I hope you remain safe, curb-hugging Jack…and I hope I am never in an event with you or people who think like you, your attitude is very dangerous for bicyclists!

    Be safe all you real bicyclists 🙂

  18. common terry says:

    earth is melting

    and car drivers feel threatened that they will be blamed

  19. Gabriel Arisi says:

    I’m Brazilian and was born in Porto Alegre, the city were this event unfolded. I’m a cyclist and rode with this group in 2008. I am shocked and very ashamed of all this happening in my hometown…
    I live in Texas for three years now and I’m going back to Brazil in a few months.

    The driver obviously tried to kill the bikers, he abandoned the vehicle and REMOVED the license plates in order to slow down the investigation, the criminal intent is clear. In Brazil rich people (for brazilian standards and in their own narrow minds) think they are above the law…

    But I also agree that the bikers should never had blocked the traffic, even if this was a manifestation born out of the frustration with the violence in the city transit! When I was riding with this group one biker was verbally abusing a driver, and I told my fellow cyclist to behave well, no reason to be aggressive when you have 100 bodyguards.

    Anyway I hope we can resolve this violence in transit that is a reflex of so many other violences in day-to-day.

    Like the bikers said: Mais amor, menos motor
    Roughly: More love, less cars

  20. Joel Pomerantz says:

    Bicyclists are seen as troublemakers without question by anyone who forgets that cars in the road are exactly the same as bicyclists (i.e., machines operated by humans who choose to be “in my way”).

    We’re dealing with unsafe streets and unsafe ways of living. Does safety include the issue of extinction? (human or otherwise) Confronting it is not safe, but we should do it anyway–with open eyes. The only thing that can make safety shift significantly is a redesign of streets, law enforcement and especially culture.

    To a great extent, all rides (and even individual riders) do create a new definition of public space, transportation and bicycling. So we *are* shifting culture. But it takes a long time, and nothing’s guaranteed, not even if we gain what the Tunisian and Egyptian efforts got–international near-consensus.

    I see bicycling as a slower version of those events: people willing to put lives and reputations on the line against giant odds to change the culture. In Egypt, people got “run over” for two generations before most folks were willing to join in. Then the numbers built to a crescendo and toppled the system, with many lives lost.

    And in defeating car culture, we’re up against a more complex antagonist that has successfully brainwashed a plurality of humans, if not an outright majority. The argument in these comments is witness to that.

    As a pacifist and one of the (many) founders of Critical Mass in San Francisco, I’ve always been scared about how many people will leap into riding without considering all the dangers. But it’s probably better than having everyone blindly accept the essentially infinite destruction that is car culture. And our riding is already bringing change, though it’s so hard to measure causality. We can expect to pay a price. Is it worth it? Of course not. Or maybe. How can we tell? We shouldn’t have to pay with our safety, and should refuse to, but we may have to, sometimes, anyway. We’re paying that same price a millionfold already for car culture, and somehow most people ignore it. Denial is potent.

    We’re at a cultural branching point, but how will it go? Nobody knows. Bike events are squarely in the middle of this cultural shift. Participate or not, all options are risky. And the problems are hard to isolate to a particular “regime” that can be named and removed.

  21. Rob says:

    Just wondering. How many of you cyclists actually own and drive a car?

  22. Luke says:

    When you look at the video of the attack you can see that the drivers-door window is intact and closed as is the windshield. Can’t see the passenger door window unfortunately. Anyway, please post if there is some kind of fund for the victims we can send em a couple bucks.

  23. Hi people of San Francisco Critical Mass! Thanks for supporting us. I´m from Porto Alegre and I was there last friday when the murder atempt happened.

    I just want to make it clear that this atitude Jack is using is totally wrong based in what happened in here.

    “Have you ever been to Brazil? Or anywhere in the world for that matter? You’re use to our roads in the States where its a grid system. In Brazil, roads run on forever, and turning in an intersection usually leads you to an entire different part of town or a dead end.” WRONG

    Come on, you can just google map the area and you´ll see that this is a very organized part of the city and any other street would lead him home, or wherever he was going to. Plus, I don´t like that someone who has never been to my city to say such crap of our system (which is bad, but not as bad as he says).

    I´m really glad that we´re being suported all over the world, please keep on it. Tonight we marched with bikes, by foot, with children, old people, bikers, skaters, rollerblades, everyone. But now I got home and just knew that the psycho killer is in a mental clinic, probably as a way to escape the criminal issues of it =/

  24. and Rob, I drive a car here in Porto Alegre and have my bycicle as well, but usually in downtown it´s a lot of traffic so it´s always best to go by bus or bike.

    Luke, people here are thinking in making this fund for the injured, but maybe you can post it in http://massacriticapoa.wordpress.com/ and ask them, someone will translate it to portuguese and answer you both in portuguese and english.

    Bah, I´m tired now! We´ve been yelling a lot and even someone threw a 2liter bottle of water from a building towards the march =/

  25. Ah! I´m sorry I don´t have the link, but this guy, José Ricardo Neis have a story of bad behavior on traffic, like going in the wrong direction of the lane, speeding, driving in the pedestrian part of the streets and also CHASED HIS EX WIFE WITH A LITTLE AXE! (Machadinha)
    Yeah, now we understand O.o

  26. quote: “eyewitness accounts, which say he was increasingly aggressive with the cyclists — trying to intimidate them by yelling and nudging them with his car. Neis also has a list of prior offenses, which include making threats, and an assault, as well as several egregious traffic violations — like driving on the wrong side of the street, and driving on the sidewalk.”

  27. Pangolin says:

    I’ve been following this story and I’m afraid your comments section has been invaded by a paid troll. Immediately after this incident was posted and popularized on YouTube posts started to go up that had the same theme “I’m not saying that what the driver did was right but…… the cyclists; “started it”, “incited the driver,” “were disobeying traffic laws,” “threatened his kid” etc. If you trace back many of the comments on YouTube they go to otherwise inactive accounts that were activated six months ago.

    Cycling is under attack by the same people that are attacking Climate Change science and any other environmental activity. People are paid to make bicycling look bad on the web and blame cyclists for any bad bicycle/car incident.

    You were professionally trolled. Get used to it.

  28. Joel Pomerantz says:

    @Rob: Asking who drives cars is like asking who uses the crappy US healthcare system. A few actually refuse, but most have no choice in the matter. The system is set up that way and until we change it, we’re stuck.

    Also, you don’t say so explicitly, but sometimes when people ask bicyclists which of us has cars it’s a purity test. The question implies either that you bike and want us all pure or drive a car and are intimidated by the virtuousness of bikes, thinking bicyclists feel “superior.”

  29. Pangolin: That’s possible, but my experience through many years of bicycle activism is that the response you describe — blaming the cyclist victim — is a point of view held by many, many people, and it will be voiced in any forum by all sorts of people. It’s part of the political landscape, because taking the blame-the-victim line enables people to avoid asking hard questions about the way our society is organized.

  30. Evan says:

    “In fact, you lose credibility for your cause if you break the law to promote your cause in a democratic state.

    Your argument = FAIL.”

    Jack, so in essence you would have been against the Civil Rights movement in the United States because well, what they were doing was against the law.

    And does that also mean you supported the Apartheid government of South Africa when it existed, because well, that was the law as well.

    Get off your high horse, troll elsewhere.

  31. Marc says:

    Evan, PAH-LEASE dont you dare compare yourself to the Civil Rights movement.
    If you want to protest – do it right, and accept the consequences. People went to jail willingly for what they believe in – not hide under a mass to escape personal responsibility.

    I dont condone what this guy did, but for all you CM fan-boys and girls here you really need to think about what you are doing. I think a lot of you dont. Or if you do, you do it from a very limited standpoint. You hold your view to be correct so no amount of discussion will sink in. Jack is correct, your actions are illegal, the only reason you get away with it is because of past violence when the police did interfere. Congrats, you are an example that “mob rule’ can apply to modern society – you must be proud.

    I am interested what would happen if some new group of activists pedestrians were to circle you on your bike one day and not let you move. Their “point” (if one exists, which I have yet to hear a concise valid one that CM has) would be (for the sake of argument) “to promote the joy of walking as god intended”. Some of these pedestrians would smile and bang on your bike – surely they are morally superior to you and therefore you are worthy of their contempt.

    Would you say “wow you guys are fantastic! I just think what you are doing is great!”
    Now lets say you are pulling your child in a bike caddy and one of the pedestrians bangs on its side. I bet all you cyclists would think that is just great, right?

    Of course not.

    Ever had your car pounded on with your child in your car? I have. Pretty scary, and my window was not even smashed. I am a cyclist and I hold Critical Mass in nothing but the most extreme form of contempt and disgust.

    Now like I said, I dont condone running someone over for any circumstance – well if you are getting carjacked or someone is firing a gun at you like on some lame cop-drama, sure. However you all seem to think that the cyclists play no part in this event. For any rational thinker that is obviously not true.

    You are NOT traffic. You never will be as long as you ride in a group that some here call a “protest.” Traffic is not a protest, it is random, it has no agenda. The only way to make yourself an analogy of “traffic” is all cars drove together with one thing in mind – to block of cyclists. We all know this is not true. When you say that you are the same as being a bunch of cars in thick traffic you are patently and without question incorrect. You can tell yourselves you are “traffic” if it makes you feel better – but no one is fooled. As long as you continue to intentionally and with full intent, BLOCK true “traffic” you will be nothing more than malcontents in my opinion. You want to PROTEST? Fine, show some stones and ride your bikes around city hall, or an auto dealer, or an oil company – and accept the consequences (fines and jail time). Thats the way its done – but you all whine if you get a ticket even.

    I will continue riding my bike laden with change of clothes, computer and days lunch through traffic each day as one of them. I will be careful because not to do so is ridiculous. I will show drivers in cars the same respect I expect from them. If one is a jerk I will not hold it against ALL drivers like some child. In short, I will act like a reasonable adult member of society.

    The far right has unintelligent, ill-informed Sarah Palin for the world to point at and laugh, and regretfully the left (of which I am a part), has the ridiculous non-thinkers of the likes of Critical Mass to show how truly far people can diverge from logic.

    Like I have said on countless blogs and websites and on my website, CriticalMassSucks.com.
    Critical Mass = EPIC FAIL.

  32. Jacob says:

    To any anti-cyclist..

    Anyone who defends this driver in Brazil must be out of their damn mind. God Bless you, and the idiots that accompany me, in my life, in this world. Even if people were hitting his car, HE PROBABLY DESERVED IT! You weren’t there, so don’t even bother trying. The guy had no right to plow through a bunch of innocent cyclist unless they all were rioting against him.

    I’ve been pulled over on my bike several times and have been indicated as an “automobile/motorist” because of its gears. Therefore, legally, I am “true” traffic. “Yes WE CAN!” As Obama would say. Yes we can legally take up that lane if we dare to put our lives on the line, and so we do.

    The side roads are awful here in town. They are loaded with shards of glass and pot holes that could flip over any cyclist. I’ll take the road over if I damn please, thank you very much.

    A Critical Mass bike ride happens how regularly in any given year? We do this once a month, not 360 days in a year. If I were president I’d declare a national “DO NOT DRIVE your car day,” and would purposely fine those who disobey it except for emergency cases. This would allow optimal leeway for emergency forces.

    Comparing an individual bike rider to an individual person driving a 2,000 lb vehicle.. Well, there is no comparison – the vehicle always wins!! Lets not forget how many more idiotic and irresponsible people out there are on the road have “FAILED” their drivers test more than once and yet they are still granted permission, the privilege to drive.. You must be out of your mind! Are you in control of this.. “NO!” The government undermined us all. Not you, so please stop dictating, trying to enforce the law. Let the law handle this not you.

    Look at the facts (but purely guessing): More deaths would occur in any given year of car accidents then I’d say in 50 years of all bicycle accidents combined.

    Mental Note: CARS ARE DANGEROUS! They are highly destructive to our land (look at all the paved roads), road kill (description classified), and oil spills are toxic and dustructive to the enviornment (bp oil spill, and take a look in your local river, canals, and creeks nearing urban cities and towns where oil washes or drains into).

    What should have happened a long time ago was mass transit.. Then a Critical Mass more than likely would have never happened to this extent. Blame the system, but not us cyclists.

  33. Marc says:

    Jacob. Im not sure exactly who you are referring to when you address your comment “To any anti-cyclist.” I have yet to come across a true “anti-cyclist,” and I have been involved in a lot of conversations against critical mass – many of which were started by myself.

    There is a difference between being against critical mass and being against all cyclist in general. I do see how critical mass participants can sometimes confuse the two, however. For example I have seen in heated conversations those who are against Critical Mass use terms like “you cyclists” incorrectly when they should say “you Critical Mass cyclists.” Keep in mind these same people are completely FOR more bike awareness, bike safety, bike lanes, etc. They are just AGAINST Critical Mass.

    I am one of these people. A lot of the statements you make are true. They do not, however, condone Critical Mass. You ARE traffic as long as you use your bike to get from point A to point B and follow the rules of the road along the way. That means if the speed limit is 40 and you cant go that fast, you are no longer traffic and need to move to the side.

    I AM traffic when I ride my bike to work on sidestreets down the middle of the lane and obey all laws including the speed limit. You are NOT traffic when you get together with a bunch of other people with the intent of NOT obeying traffic laws, run red lights, and keep other true traffic from going about its business. Do cyclists get the short end of the stick often? Yes. But we have benefits too now dont we? We can cut to the front of the line at stops. We dont need to fill up on $4 a gallon gas. We dont need a convertible to get a view our city higher than a windshield allows, we dont have to go to the gym after work because our commute is a workout in itself, etc. etc. There are costs and benefits for everything in life. Just because you dont like some of the costs of being a cyclist does not give you the right to disrupt your city and its citizens. It really doesnt. Saying so does not make me or others against cyclist in general – just against Critical Mass.

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