Shooting has cyclist community “outraged” as accused gunman released on bond

The alleged July 26 shooting of cyclist Alan Simons by Asheville firefighter Charles Alexander Diez has the local cycling community “outraged,” according to one leader. Diez is out on bond, facing charges of attempted first degree murder.

Around mid-day on July 26, according to police, Diez followed Simons, who was riding along Tunnel Road with his wife and 3-year-old child, after confronting Simons angrily about having his child in a bike seat behind him. Parked in the travel lane, Diez allegedly drew a .38-caliber handgun and, the incident report reads, “fired one round toward the victim’s head, striking his helmet.”

The shot tore through the lining of Simons’ helmet, coming less than an inch from hitting him in the left side of his head.

Witnesses reported Diez’s license tag number and, about 25 minutes later, Buncombe sheriff’s deputies later arrested Diez at his Swannanoa home.

Diez, who has been employed at the Asheville Fire Department since 1992, has been placed on paid leave, according to interim Chief Scott Burnette.

“That’s according to the city’s guidelines for an incident like this,” Burnette told Xpress, declining to comment further on the matter. “We’re letting the police handle this.”

Diez’s bond was originally set at $500,000. But he posted bond and was released Tuesday after a judge reduced it to $200,000. He has no prior criminal record and, according to police, sober at the time of the incident.

Simons has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Since the incident, Asheville on Bikes founder Mike Sule said, “my e-mail has been flooded. There’s a general sense of anger over this. We’re simply outraged.”

“To just shoot a cyclist in the head like that; that’s beyond road rage, I think there’s clearly some mental illness involved,” Sule told Xpress. “The thing that really worries me is that there’s this belief that somehow cyclists shouldn’t be on the road.”

While confrontations between cyclists and motorists aren’t “the sort of thing I worry about every time I get on a bike,” they do occur, Sule says, noting that motorists angered by cyclists will use “bully mass” to force them off the road, scream vulgarity or throw projectiles “like trash or glass bottles.” All of which make the road less safe, he notes, given the damage a vehicle can do to someone riding a bike.

“We have occasional reports of civil disturbances between cyclists and motorists,” police spokesperson Melissa Williams wrote to Xpress in an e-mail. “This level of confrontation is rare.”

The next step for the cycling community, Sule said, and the question he keeps hearing from cyclists around the city, is “how are we going to rally around this family and express outrage in a way that advances the cycling movement” and makes the streets safer.

That issue is more essential, he said, since more and more cyclists are coming onto the road – something Asheville on Bikes encourages – and Asheville’s Comprehensive Bike Plan projects an eventual 181-miles of bike lanes.

“A lot of experienced cyclists know tactics for avoiding or getting out of these confrontations,” Sule said. “But not everyone starting out now, who might be riding their bike to home or work, has that pool of experience. My fear is that there’s an increased risk of fatalities as more new riders get on the road.”

— David Forbes, staff writer

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62 thoughts on “Shooting has cyclist community “outraged” as accused gunman released on bond

  1. my two cents

    I’m not part of the cyclist community and I’m outraged by this, in many ways. And WHY is he on paid leave? Does that seem wrong to anyone else. If I shoot someone and can’t come to work I don’t get paid leave, and I don’t appreciate my tax dollars paying for Diez to not work while the police decide if he should be charged with attempted murder. A “public servant” who tries to kill a citizen should not continue to receive a “public” salary.

  2. T100C-1970

    Dietz needs to think about his actions from behind bars for a LONG TIME.

    I’m a motorcyclist of 40+ years continuous standing. Twenty years ago when an injury forced me to give up running, I tried bicycling but biking on public roads scared the crap out of me. I bike a little now but always off road.

    I (motorcycle) ride almost every day (about 6,000 miles per year) but I NEVER ride the super-slab anymore because I don’t like to ride faster than 70 MPH and you can get run over out there at that speed.

    There is not enough money in the world to get me to ride (motorcycle) from Gwinett County to the Atlanta Airport) or to ride my bicycle from Biltmore up River road and Tunnel road through the tunnel.

    Dietz was insane but bicyclists need to TRY to use a little common sense in selecting safe places to ride.

    (Yeah,,, I know “we got a perfect right yada yada” .. but I also have a perfect right to drive the DR650 right on through downtown Atlanta on I-85 .. but that doesn’t make it sensible!

  3. RingoStarchy

    I think the outrage should extend beyond the cycling community.

  4. timguerra

    yes this is outrageous. frankly i am surprised he is allowed out on bail. i wonder what would happen to me if i just pulled out a gun and shot someone?

    this being said, i do believe in sharing the road with cyclist, however, about 99% of cyclist i see on the road are constantly breaking traffic laws (kind of like the problem with motorcycles), and that makes it more dangerous for all of us.

    i always take great care when passing a cyclist, my sister is one, too. but, please, at least obey traffic laws!

  5. Gordon Smith

    I wrote about the incident at Scrutiny Hooligans:

    http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2009/07/27/shoot-a-cyclist-for-safety/

    Excerpt:

    “The unhinged gunman had a valid premise, which I imagine is shared by the victim – It’s dangerous for cyclists on our roads. Yesterday’s shooting was a dramatic event, but every day cyclists are injured on our roads by careless drivers and by our lack of adequate infrastructure. On my bike I’ve been cut off, had doors opened into my path, had objects thrown at me, and have several times narrowly missed serious accidents in motion. In my car, I’ve been diligent about treating bicycles like any other vehicle on the road – giving a wide berth, signaling, and respecting their journey as much as I want them to respect mine.

    Among the reasons that cycling is dangerous are a lack of bike lanes, an uneasy relationship between motorists and cyclists, and the inherent hazards of a lot of people trying to get from one place to another quickly. Add the occasional armed hothead, and a dicey situation becomes downright hostile.

    Our current road system was built for automobiles. While many roads are wide enough to accommodate cyclists and motorists equally, there is an inherent inequity that leaves cyclists at the mercy of their four wheeled traveling companions. Without comprehensive alternative transportation infrastructure in place, cyclists and pedestrians alike must contend with a transportation network unfit for their needs.

    Imagine if the cyclist in this story had been rolling along a designated bicycle lane rather than hugging the shoulder and taking his chances. Imagine several years down the road once motorists became accustomed to bike lanes and knew exactly how to behave.”

  6. simicaleepo

    im sure the bike rider had some smarmy reply to set the guy off. i see it all the time. personally im fed up with them also.

  7. Asbestos

    “You will ride you bike safely or I will shoot you” said the emergency responder. “Do you know that your little girl could be hit by a car and killed while on the back of your bike?” Or someone could come along and shoot her or maybe even you.

  8. dew vols fan

    I like the comment that he was sober at the time of the incident, does this guy have a drinking problem that’s being covered up here or what because he works for the city! just my 2 cents worth,

  9. Dionysis

    “I think the outrage should extend beyond the cycling community”

    It does.

  10. Dionysis

    “im sure the bike rider had some smarmy reply to set the guy off. i see it all the time. personally im fed up with them also.”

    Right. The cyclist, along with his wife and child, brought this upon himself.

  11. ebgeezy

    Whoa horsy…. Asheville is unsafe for bicyclists because there ain’t no shoulder to the road. There isn’t enough pressure against planners to produce safer cycling lanes. Bicycling should have a greater priority. Thanks, and dats all I got to say bout dat.

  12. Marshall Hance

    This isn’t about where people should or shouldn’t ride (they should, everywhere) It’s about this psycho thinking he can pull the trigger of a gun pointed at someone’s head.

  13. Austin

    We need a law that directly deals with this issue: motorists threatening cyclists. When we are annoyed with cyclists, it is almost always because they are causing us to travel more slowly than we want to go. That is not illegal. Anyone who does not drive AND cycle needs to keep their comments to themselves because they will lack perspective in this issue. Thanks.

  14. Bjorn

    It’s contemptible a “judge” would release anyone who (in my opinion) clearly attempted murder, of not only an adult but a child. Is Diez still armed & a danger to the community?

  15. Jim

    Columbia, MO has an explicit law against bike harassment (The ordinance covers anyone who:

    * Throws an object at or in the direction of a cyclist,
    * Threatens a cyclist,
    * Frightens or disturbs the cyclist,
    * Sounds a horn with the intention to frighten or disturb a cyclist,
    * Knowingly placing a cyclist in the path of physical injury, or
    * Knowingly engaging in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury for a cyclist.

    http://bit.ly/3orKnQ
    http://bit.ly/9HFV8

    This also has the benefit of educating law enforcement officers that these ARE against the law, and not to be tolerated.

  16. Ezekiel

    Thank goodness the cyclist was wearing a helmet — even if it was never designed to be bulletproof. This could have been a real tragedy.

  17. Jake

    Released on bail? It IS outrageous! This guy has demonstrated that he’s a menace and should not be at large, regardless of his prior record. He needs to be tried and convicted, and fast, which will mean no more guns for him. A long stay as a guest of the state is in order.

    Anyone care to discuss the Second Amendment? He uses a handgun like that, and we should ALL be reminded how stupid our gun laws are in the U.S. Until we change them, characters like this will insist that you arm yourself for protection. Outrageous, indeed.

  18. bluebooger

    Do Cyclists need to carry guns now. Or a onboard Camera? maybe not. Ive been wanting to ride my bike for exercise but The roads around my area dont allow for riders of bikes to ride safely. Ive spent time in Grermany and I had a bike there, I rode it everywhere. Our country needs those bike lanes. Then we wouldn’t have so many FAT ASSES around.

  19. Bjorn

    Curious the Judge doesn’t have a problem with Diez shooting at a bicyclist & lodging a round in Simon’s bike helmet. Not to mention deliberately endangering the safety of Simon’s kid & Wife. What Alice in Wonderland logic, does the Judge adhere to?

  20. Piffy!

    That would be the “Alice in Wonderland logic” of our Justice System, Bjorn.

  21. Leanna

    The most upsetting thing to me is that someone can almost kill you and they are set free on bail. Part of the problem is with the justice system and allowing people to pay bail after attempted murder. I know of someone else who recently attempted to kill someone and they were let free while the victim still lives with their injuries.
    Something is wrong here.

  22. Rob Close

    question:

    are bicycles legally supposed to be on the road or on the sidewalk?

    i know the answer is road in most states, but i think that’s ludicrous. it’s easy for cyclists to go at a speed that makes it safe to interact with pedestrians, but too many car drivers simply aren’t interested in slowing down for cyclists.

    and if a cyclist hits a pedestrian, the lethality is far less than a car hitting a cyclist.

    our bike lanes suck. if the cities law says that cyclists have to stay in the road, then i dare city council to change that law. or to spend a day riding a bike across town if they choose not to.

    was driving in cambridge, ma, last week, and a cyclist a main road there nearly caused an accident. had she been on the sidewalk, there would have been no problem. i see this every freaking week of my life. i’ve rode a bike on sidewalks my whole life as well, and i’ve never, not once, even come close to having a problem with a pedestrian.

    then again, i’m not even sure of the law. i really don’t care, either. i’m going to do what keeps me safe, and what i hope other people will do were our shoes reversed.

  23. Bjorn

    It appears that Diez could be charged with Domestic Terrorism as defined in the Patriot Act.

    -Title VIII: Terrorism criminal law.

    “The definition also encompasses activities that are “dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State” and are intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”

  24. I’m still in shock about this.

    I am BEGGING all cyclists, as the father of two children that bike, to PLEASE obey all traffic laws. I know that was not the issue in this incident, but cannot help but think of the indirect effects. I’m sure this fireman has seen plenty of cyclists blow through lights and signs, clog up traffic, etc. Careless and arrogant behavior I have always feared would lead to an attack like this. I don’t want my children to catch a road rager’s wrath.

  25. Bjorn

    Obit DVD said: “I’m sure this fireman has seen plenty of cyclists blow through lights and signs, clog up traffic, etc.”

    Is this now a justifiable cause, to shoot at an unarmed Citizen?

    The “Careless and arrogant behavior”– was clearly exhibited by Diez.

  26. dave

    Is this the kind of guy you want to show up at an emergency? When you career is in public service it is your JOB to help educate someone who maybe engaging in an unsafe habit in the community, NOT SHOOT THEM. It seems that our emergency services in Buncombe County have lost compassion for our community. Lets focus on the crack, thieves, and abuse that goes on in this county, not harassing/shooting those who are trying to make a difference in our community.
    why does an anti community putz get paid time off for shooting our citizens whom they are supposd to protect!?!?!?

  27. Rob: To answer your question, the NCDOT website says: “In North Carolina, the bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle.”

    While saying bicycles should be relegated to the sidewalks may be well meaning, that eliminates bicycles as a viable form of transportation, as you then have to slow down considerably in order to navigate pedestrians, fire hydrants, trash cans, curbs and other obstacles, not to mention dealing with cars at every intersection.

    I’ll qualify that by saying that at times I ride on the sidewalk, such as coming up the hill when traveling west on Tunnel Road between Mountaineer Inn and the tunnel. However, it makes for slow going.

  28. Dale

    Watching cyclists run red lights, stop signs, cross busy intersections, make u turns in traffic intersections, and some even attempt to stall vehicular traffic, I, at times, wonder where law enforcement is when this happens but all the cyclists claim they obey the laws. That is a laugh.

  29. Bjorn

    It’s complete lunacy how some are attempting to frame Diez’s criminal actions as Simon’s fault!
    There was never any justifiable cause for Diez to fire his gun at Simons’ –thankfully Mr. Simon had his helmet on. Otherwise Mr Simon’s wife would be a Widow & his child without a father.

    It’d be in order for Mr. Diez as part of his sentencing, to publicly apologize & be ordered to Psychiatric care & evaluation. Of course Mr Diez should be denied owning another firearm for life.

    If Diez wasn’t a City Firefighter, would he be treated differently? I believe in rehabilitation not vengeance.

  30. Pale

    Right, Dale. And all drivers obey the law to a tee? Speeding? Stop Signs? Turn Signals? Drunk Driving? Talking on your cell phone? I see drivers do this every day.

    Should I start shooting at them too?

    I bet this “Firefighter” was drunk.

  31. SA

    Here are a few questions to consider…
    Why did the firefighter have a gun in his car?
    Did he have a concealed weapon permit?
    Why did he “need” to carry a concealed weapon?
    How does being angry at a father riding his 3-year old child on a busy road make someone want to kill him and then try carring it out?
    If he was wanting to teach him a lesson, is death the lesson? Dead people can’t learn.
    If the father was killed, who was the angry firefighter thinking was going to raise the child?
    Did the shooter even consider how his actions could have killed both the father and child?
    How could he live with himself after intentionally killing this man and/or the child?
    Why on earth is this firefighter out on bail?
    The shooter has no reason to be free. None whatsoever. He is a violent criminal. Lock him up!

  32. SA

    The shooter needs to be behind bars! Lock him up!

    What on earth would cause him not only to carry a gun in his vehicle (makes me think he has issues to begin with) but to be upset enough at a cyclist to shoot him in the head?

    He should not be paid one red cent while out on leave!

    Was his vehicle not enough of a weapon?

    This guy desires to intimidate and harm people. What do you want to bet he’s a wife beater too?

    Are their no consequences for him?

    He peobably gets a free attorney too since he’s still on the firefighter payroll.

  33. Rob Close

    you may have to go slower at times if you ride on the sidewalk, but by no means does that “eliminate(s) bicycles as a viable form of transportation”. You can still go near your top speed 95% of the time, except in the busiest parts of downtown. And in those parts, really, nowhere is safe for a bike anyway.

    But I have had 2 friends who were riding bikes in the road both get terribly hurt by parked drivers opening their doors, both in Boston. They were going their top speeds, which simply wasn’t safe in a city setting. Just because you are capable of going fast, doesn’t mean you should, or that it’s appropriate.

  34. travelah

    The message here is sober thugs who have never been caught before can get lowered bail.

  35. SA

    This hot head belongs behind bars! He was aiming to kill and the cyclist had a 3yr old on his bike! The shooter was not in any type of danger that would require using a firearm to defend his life.

    The fireman will undoubtedly get free legal assistance from the fire department who is still paying him. If the fire department isn’t smart enough to update their policies from time to time, they’re asking for this kind of trouble.

    What are the odds the shooter has an evil rage problem? Ask his ex-wives and children, my guess is this isn’t the first time he’s not considered the consequences of his actions. Does he have any prior arrests or calls to him home for violence? He probably has had brushes with the law in the past and has threatened anyone in his way.

    Put him away, he’s a menace to society and this isn’t the type of person I want responding to a fire call! He makes his whole department look bad.

  36. Is this now a justifiable cause, to shoot at an unarmed Citizen?

    The “Careless and arrogant behavior”—was clearly exhibited by Diez.

    Absolutely not! At the first of my post I said that I am in shock about this, just to clarify we are all on the same page here.

    The point that I am trying to get across is that I fear that bad cycling behavior pisses off the public at large. Some of the public are mentally unhinged and have guns. Like I said, that was not the direct cause of this confrontation, but could have affected the mindset of the fireman.

    i think orbit ate some of the bad acid…

    Got some? Actually I think its from me watching the unreleased WOODSTOCK performances that recently came out. The CCR set is SMOKING!

  37. Bill Milestone

    This “sober” perp has shown himself to be way too much of a nutjob to be allowed out on bail before trial. How dare our courts let this man out of jail. I hope he doesn’t irrationally “lose it” again before he is tried for attempted murder. In the meantime, we have men who are behind in their child support being denied bail and serving 7 day sentences. A sense of proportion surely is needed in Buncombe County.

  38. Beverly Reeser

    I have not been online for a while and after reading all the comments on this incident I just had to respond. We all have rights and reponsibilities whether we are driving a car, riding a motorcycle or a bicycle or walking. The bottom line is responsibility. It is unfortunate that we are always going to have to deal with crazy people with problems……..that is life. My thoughts are the firefighter has big problems but you CAN NOT blame all police or gov employees for this one incident…..as you cannot blame all bikers or pedistrians etc. for other accidents. I am so grateful for AOB as they have been getting the word out about sharing the road……..BIKE LOVE!

  39. Shepherd

    I love this whole… “lets distract everyone from the issue by fighting amongst ourselves” BS. Why don’t we just think about how scary it would be to have a gun pulled on you, to see your father shot, to be blown by at 50 by some car on your bike, etc etc. Wah wah, some one made fun of me in a blog… Well guess what? You aren’t the one shot for riding your bike. If this had been Lance Armstrong the nation would be in mourning. What I will say in parting is: share the road and do onto others as they would do onto you.

  40. Jenny

    I think the issue for the gunman was the fact that he had his daughter on the bike, period. He was mad that a cyclist would endanger their child on a busy highway. (This is what the WLOS 13 interview said.) There was no law being broken by the cyclist. His daughter was strapped into a child seat on the back of the bike. The gunman was nuts..plain and simple. Having bike lanes would be a great improvement to our city but I don’t think if would make a difference to idiots like him. He was on a rampage and I don’t think it took much to blow his top.

  41. tacostacos

    you may have to go slower at times if you ride on the sidewalk, but by no means does that “eliminate(s) bicycles as a viable form of transportation”. You can still go near your top speed 95% of the time, except in the busiest parts of downtown. And in those parts, really, nowhere is safe for a bike anyway.

    In many places it is illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk. Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. And as for “you can still go your top speed 95% of the time” all I can say is you clearly have never bike commuted before.

    A bike is a wonderful form of transportation. When I have lived in other cities I have even been able to sell my car and get around on my bike. Here in Asheville, the logistics (geographic, physical, and social) nearly eliminate it as a possibility.

    I would love to be able to bike to work everyday. I think it’s a great, healthy, green way to commute. But I’m not going to get myself killed.

  42. Born

    Perhaps the time has come for an ordinance -banning all guns in Asheville? Diez certainly wasn’t demonstrating responsible firearm ownership. Isn’t it a crime to discharge a weapon in the City without good cause?

  43. Bill Milestone

    Born, the crime here was much worse than discharging a weapon in the city limits. The fireman aimed his gun and fired AT THE BICYCLISTS HEAD, HITTING HIS HELMET. Only because of extraordinary luck, and the Grace of God, was his head spared. That is attempted murder, a serious crime. Serious enough that he should have never been let out on bail. The judge who granted bail should be identified here so we can make a complaint to the bar association, or other governing body that the judge is bound by. The evidence is clear enough that the crime of attempted murder took place. Ie, bullet hole in the helmet, round fired from fireman’s gun. The correct decision would have been “held without bail” until trial.

  44. Rob Close

    “you clearly have never bike commuted before.”

    actually, i did for many years. and i always rode on the sidewalk, since my ride was mostly down a 45mph road. i actually rode past the police station every day, illegally, and never once had a problem (except bike theft).

    that’s what i based this 95% off of – even on the slightly rough sidewalk, i still went almost as fast as i would have on the road, and would only encounter a couple of people per mile, which i equated to about 5% of my commuting time.

    however, i am aware that in most cities, you will encounter far more pedestrians than i did. still, i reset how “clearly” you able to make assumptions about my history.

  45. bobeaux

    At the very least this guy should be under secure psychiatric evaluation. Letting this gun toting fool back out on 200k bail is judicial foolishness, I think a bit more attention needs to be focused on the idiot behind the bench that reduced bail on this crazy person.

  46. tacostacos

    I apologize for my improper assumption.

    In my experience, biking on the sidewalk is slower – more crack in the pavement, more walking citizens, more strollers, more telephone poles, more sandwich boards, etc – and is frequently illegal.

    I maintain – I have not been a bike commuter in Asheville, because all the factors above are multiplied in a town with as much foot traffic as we have here, and the fact that riding on the streets there are no decent bike lanes and the motorists are not willing to give the necessary concessions.

    Or, maybe I’m lazy and I don’t like hills.

    Either way, I apologize for my assumption. I would love to live in a town where biking on the sidewalk was speedy and legal so I wouldn’t rudely slow down traffic.

  47. Jake

    The only bicycles that are okay to ride on a sidewalk are those with training wheels. If you feel the need to ride on the sidewalk, simply add the training wheels. Anyone who rides with speed on a sidewalk has about as much sense as Mr. Diez.

  48. Piffy!

    I think it’s lame this is turning into a discussion about bicyclists.

  49. Ken Miller

    “You can still go near your top speed 95% of the time, except in the busiest parts of downtown. ”

    The previous statement doesn’t pertain to Asheville at all. Safe cycling rarely involves going 95% of your top speed. Nor does safe driving, safe running, or safe anything. A safe cyclist in my neighborhood might be going anywhere between 30 and 70 percent of his/her “top speed.”

    Also, keep your bicycle off of the sidewalk. You can decide what is safe (or not) regarding your behavior on your property, but the sidewalk is public property, and the law states that the sidewalk is for pedestrians.

    Just because you think that X is safer than Y doesn’t make it so. Consider how many people think that driving is safer than flying. They believe it, with all their hearts. And they’re wrong. Your little survey of your friends doesn’t mean dip. I’m sorry two of them were hurt in Boston, but as you said, it was because they were riding too fast for the setting.

    We need better protection for cyclists and pedestrians, but more importantly, we need to change people’s mindsets about bikes, cyclists, pedestrians, and cars.

  50. avl girl

    ok, so the night after this happened I was driving home around 9 or so. I passed 2 young girls walking in a not so nice area of Oakley with a baby that couldn’t have been more than a couple of months old. I stopped and asked if they needed a ride, they said no, I reminded them that it was really dangerous walking down the road in the dark like that at night, and then drove home.

    Was I worried about them? Absolutely! Were they being safe? No. Did I feel compelled to shoot them? NO!!

    This whole thing is so screwed up and the saddest part is that so many people are supporting this lunatic! So this in not about cyclists or the people who don’t like them. You can change the scenario any way you want but it can NEVER be justified that what he did was ok!

  51. SarahJ

    I wonder how his coworkers feel, knowing that they have to trust their lives to someone who obviously can’t deal with stressful situations, or who could shoot them if they have an argument. I think that people in Fire/Police/Medical jobs should have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being hired.

  52. Bjorn

    The question remains why did Diez think, or believe it’s acceptable to fire at someone you disagree with? No rational, or sane person would ever consider that as an option!

    What guns do, then, is make it more feasible for a would-be killer to act out his murderous impulses.
    Gun possession thus allows a crime to occur that wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Ban guns in Asheville & recharge Diez.

  53. Stephen Lange

    It’s our choice and some identify with the shooter and some identify with the shot. Let’s say the shooter was having the worst day of his life and the cyclist flipped him off-mind your own business! The shooter, as a firefighter/lifesaver decides to confront the cyclist and he does. Things escalate and he remembers he has a gun with him. ‘i’ll scare him’ maybe he thinks( or worse he’s a poor shot).The rest is history. Now who would you like to be? The shooter or the shot? Hopefully the shooter will regret what he did the rest of his life.Should the cyclist regret his bikeride with his family? Put yourself in both positions. Which one are you? The shooter or the shot?

  54. Bjorn

    To Stephen Lange:

    Trying to frame this as Diez simply having a bad day, is completely irresponsible & an affront to the community’s safety.

    For sake of argument even IF, IF Simon’s flipped off Diez how many middle fingers have been drawn & fired as a deadly weapon? To my knowledge the FBI hasn’t in their history, implicated a middle finger in any Murder cases.

    It’s insanity & dangerous to dismiss Diez’s actions as simply having a bad day!

  55. Rob Close

    Why shoot a stranger? Cocaine is my guess.

    It would explain why Ron Moore put forth a charge he knew wouldn’t stick.

    Just my conspiracy theory – but with all the shady leadership we’ve had in Asheville, I’d suggest you give it consideration.

  56. stephen Lange

    Worst. I said worst day of his life. I hope it was and is the worst day of the shooter’s life.He failed miserably to get his point across-the child’s safety. It was probably the worst day of Alan’s life. I hope that the shooter has a few years behind bars to think about how he acted on the WORST day of his life and how it affected the Simon’s out on a bikeride. My point was whose side we would be on. The dialogue here has shaken out to be either for or against the shooter. This isn’t an issue about guns anyway, it’s an issue about crazy people who snap on the WORST day of their life,
    Bjorn.

  57. Alan Simons

    I would like to say thanks publicly to all those who have shown thier support to my family and I,For those of you who think we did something wrong that day,I assure you we didnt,And I feel sorry for you.This is more than A gun case or a fireman case,We Dont have guns in our house,but that is a personal choice,doesnt mean we dont respect the rights of those who own them.And we really have no issues with any of our public servants.These people put thier lifes on the line for us every day.This is all about the need for a better way for us all to ride our bikes on the roads ..We didnt ask for this to happen that day but it did,And there is nothing that will change that.However maybe this will help all of us bicyclists get closer to the goal of having a better infrastructure

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