Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Jail Time for Hunting Down People on Bikes With a Car While Drunk: Zero

10:29 AM EDT on June 24, 2010

2887130491_b1c9cece0e.jpgWhat will it take for people to realize hitting people on bikes is not a laughing matter? (Photo: Pedal_Power_Pete via Flickr)

Earlier this week, we wrote about a Mike Pintek, a Pittsburgh radio show host who joked about hitting bicyclists with his car.

Today, we read in the Chicago Bicycle Advocate Blog about two young men who were convicted of hunting down bicyclists to hit with their car — while they were drunk.

Good thing they were convicted, you might think. But when you hear the sentences they received, you might be shocked:

The second man charged with intentionally hunting down and striking a bicyclist in Brookfield on May 31, 2009 has been sentenced to zero jail time. The driver, 20-year-old Erik Fabian, pled guilty to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of an accident.  He was sentenced to two years probation.  Fabian’s buddy, Armando Reza, was sentenced last week to 10 days in jail for the same incident, a seemingly light sentence that has outraged a good many Chicago bicyclists. According to the Chicago Breaking News Center, the two were drinking before deciding to drive around looking for bicyclists to hit. Both men were sentenced by Cook County Judge Carol Kipperman.

The Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago bicycle advocacy group, has expressed outrage at the "insufficient sentences" given to the men. This morning the group started a letter-writing campaign directed at Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, and assistant state’s attorney, Mike Pattarozzi, to justify these negotiated sentences. According to the Alliance the crimes with which the men were charged were eligible for penalties of up to 2-5 years in jail.

According to a news story about the incident, the two men dared each other to commit the assaults. It was like a game to them — they even pulled over to switch seats so they could each get a chance to play. Fortunately, neither of the people they struck was seriously injured. But it’s not hard to imagine how differently it might have turned out.

And yet, in a culture where assault with a vehicle is routinely joked about, prosecutors are willing to cut offenders an easy deal.

More from around the network: Xing Columbus writes in praise of car-pooling. has some news about more funding for the Underground Railroad bike route. And Atlanta Bicycle Coalition reports on a $5 million boost for a major bike trail in that city.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Popular Fort Greene Open Street Fizzles After City Pulls Support

DOT reassigned its contractor, and this open street — which once hosted rollicking dance parties — is history.

October 2, 2023

Monday’s Headlines: Thin-Skinned, Anti-Restler Mayor Edition

Under fire for how he handled the storm, the mayor found a familiar target: Brooklyn Council Member Lincoln Restler. Plus other news.

October 2, 2023

Two Paths Forward: Broadway Shows What Could Be on Fifth Avenue

It's time to widen Fifth Avenue's sidewalks and add a protected bike lane. Delays hurt everyone.

CYCLE OF RAGE: Even Cheap Souvenir Plates Fool NYC Speed Cameras — And Piss Off an Out-of-Town Man

You don't have to be SEXY to fool New York City speed cameras. You just have to pretend to be.

October 2, 2023

We Have the ‘End of Days’ Flooding Pics You Need Right Now

It's bad out there. How bad? Here is a citywide roundup from our staff ... and our friends on social media.

September 29, 2023
See all posts