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, plead 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.
Here is the letter the Alliance is urging people to send to the state's attorney's office:
Ms. Anita Alvarez
Cook County State's Attorney's Office
First Municipal District
555 W. Harrison, Chicago, IL 60607
Dear Ms. Alvarez,
I am deeply disappointed and outraged at the insufficient sentences given to Armando Reza and Erik Fabian, who were both recently convicted of intentionally running down cyclists with a car in Brookfield, Ill., in 2009. Reza pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence of alcohol, yet his plea agreement amounted to a mere 10 days in jail, two years of probation and counseling. Fabian also pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of an accident. He was sentenced to no jail time, and two years of probation.
As a member of the bicycling community, I call upon the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney to justify the negotiation of these lenient sentences, particularly in light of the violent and deliberate nature of Reza and Fabian’s actions. These crimes were eligible for penalties of up to 2-5 years in jail.
I ride my bike in Cook County and need to trust that our justice system will protect my rights if I am injured due to a motorist’s hostile and unlawful actions. I respectfully urge your office to prosecute future acts of traffic violence to the fullest extent possible, especially those involving bicyclists and pedestrians, to help make roadways in Cook County safe for all users.
Thank you for taking my request seriously.