Our law firm is conducting an investigation into who attacked Chicago bicyclist, Jana Kinsman, yesterday. The widely reported incident occurred after midnight on Tuesday, August 20th just north of the intersection of North Kimball Avenue and West Wrightwood Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood. Jana was riding north on Kimball and had just passed Wrightwood when three men in their late twenties or early thirties drove up next to her in a maroon colored Chevy Tahoe. The driver drifted the large vehicle right, pressing against Jana and her bicycle. She could hear the men laughing at her and speaking to one another in Spanish. One of the passengers then reached out of a window and grabbed her messenger bag as Jana screamed. The driver turned the SUV hard into Jana causing her to crash. The vehicle then sped north on Kimball, fleeing the scene. Jana was left frightened, and with a badly injured left arm. Her bicycle was also badly damaged.
Today, our firm was retained to find the driver and the others who participated in this attack and make sure they are held accountable. We have been in contact with the Chicago Police Department which is also conducting an investigation. The CPD have categorized this matter as an aggravated battery, rather than a "simple" hit and run incident. Generally, under Illinois law battery may become "aggravated" when it involves the use of a deadly weapon. There is precedent for a motor vehicle being treated as a deadly weapon under Illinois law. We are presently looking into several leads which we hope will lead us to the owner of the vehicle involved. The general public is asked to contact us, or the police department if they have any information related in this incident. We can be reached at 312.629.1901 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video of the event has been obtained from security cameras outside of a preschool located near the scene of the crash. The footage was released earlier today on the DNAinfo website.
The incident has gained widespread attention in Chicago and well-beyond. Jana told us that she has been blown away by the outpouring of kindness from as far away as Glasgow, Scotland. Much of that attention is perhaps because of who Jana is, the well-known 27 year old owner of Bike A Bee, a business she founded to promote and conduct urban beekeeping. Jana is often seen around Chicago riding her bike to and from the several hives she maintains. The work is physical, and her injuries have left her incapacitated. She does not have health insurance. Late yesterday, a fellow bee keeper in San Diego set up a Giveforward campaign to raise money for Jana so she can pay her bills. Local bicycle shops have offered to fix her bicycle for free.
Perhaps much of the attention is also due to the attack occurring to someone riding a bicycle. This is the summer of the bicycle in Chicago. In June, the city launched a new bike share program. Miles new bike specific road infrastructure have been put in place to encourage more people to ride. With these and other initiatives, scores of people are now riding around the city not just for exercise, but simply as transportation. That a cyclist could be singled out for attack, perhaps just because she was riding her bike has sent a shutter of concern throughout the cycling community.