Murder charge dropped in cyclist shooting case

A grand jury has dropped the charge of attempted first-degree murder against Charles Alexander Diez, the Asheville firefighter accused of shooting a cyclist. Diez is now facing a felony assault charge that carries a much lower potential penalty.

Diez, currently free on a $200,000 bond, was today served a warrant on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Attempted first-degree murder, a Class B2 felony, carries a 125- to 157-month prison sentence for someone with no criminal record. The assault charge, a Class E felony, carries a 20- to 25-month presumptive range.

Diez has no prior criminal record and, according to police, was sober at the time of the incident.

Grand juries deliberate in secret, and District Attorney Ron Moore submitted both the assault and attempted-murder charges. He told Xpress that he doesn’t know why the grand jury rejected the murder charge.

Asheville police had charged Diez, a firefighter since 1992, with attempted first-degree murder after he allegedly fired on cyclist Alan Simons with a .38 caliber handgun on July 26. The bullet ripped through the lining of Simons’ helmet and, according to police, came within less than an inch of striking him in the head.

Simons was riding with his wife and 3-year-old child, and Diez had begun arguing with Simons, saying that it was unsafe to have his child in a children’s bike seat behind him. When Simons began to walk away, Diez allegedly opened fire.

Moore said he would “talk with the officer involved, and see if there’s any new evidence. If there is, we can resubmit the charge [to the grand jury].”

Click here to go to Xpress Files and read the Asheville Police Department’s report of the incident.

— David Forbes, staff writer


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159 thoughts on “Murder charge dropped in cyclist shooting case

  1. Michaelk42

    On the other hand, the felony assault charge should be absolute cake to convict on.

    It would be nice to get an attempted murder though.

  2. Cookster

    Absolutely amazing!!!!
    If the tables were turned and it was the fireman that got shot at, this would be on national news!! What kind of double standard B.S. is this?

  3. Dionysis

    Agreed. This is complete BS. A shot aimed at man’s head and it’s not attempted murder?

  4. MusicLover45

    How can you shoot someone in the head and it not be considered Attempted Murder? The members of the Grand Jury must have missed some testimony.

  5. AvlResident

    Has a reporter talked to any of the people involved? Friends and associates of those involved? Is there more to this story?

  6. hereNT

    What I don’t get is why it seems from the article that they’re treating it as less of a crime possibly because he was sober at the time?

    I’d be much more scared of someone that stone cold sober would point a gun and fire. At least a drunk person can plead (possibly rightly so) that the alcohol impaired their judgement.

    Seems to me like they should pursue prosecution much more diligently since Diaz did this while in full possession of his reason.

  7. Ah, privilege…. it’s a wonderful thing. Think if this guy was an unemployed black man, hell, even if he was an employed black man, he would even be out on bond?

  8. i think the fact he was “apparently sober” at the time of the incident makes it MORE heinous and pre-meditated.

    but, hey, that’s just me.

  9. Spanker McJohnson

    “NCGS 14?32. Felonious assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury; punishments.

    (c) Any person who assaults another person with a deadly weapon with intent to kill shall be punished as a Class E felon.”

    I thought he was mischarged from the get-go.The GJ just fixed it.

  10. nuvue

    No kidding it is dangerous to ride around this wingnut, with a kid in a bike seat…..
    This dude is a complete moron and deserves to be nailed.
    Where did the gun come from? Is it a legal one? Why did he even have a gun ? Is he suspended without pay? Or are we still feeding this violent $#@& his paycheck?

  11. Rob Close

    but wait… is totally right – first degree murder means it was premeditated, which was clearly not the case. so clearly in fact, that it should never have been levied as a charge against him.

    second degree murder SHOULD have been the charge, and that wouldn’t have been dropped so easily. Ron Moore said he doesn’t know why it was dropped? WHAT A JOKE!

    Here’s my theory – Ron Moore was doing a favor for the firefighters by putting forth a charge that he KNEW wouldn’t stick, and would result in only a small charge – assault. And then he feigns ignorance. Class Ron Moore, folks. He’s the one you should be outraged against. Somebody who isn’t scared of being murdered in the night should run against him. And someone with real journalistic integrity should interview him with some real questions about his ability to lead, and how come he didn’t realize something so obvious as to what the correct charge should be.

  12. travelah

    Do any of you know the requirements for a first degree murder charge and conviction? It requires premeditation and planning. The assault charge with intent to kill resulting from a heated exchange among strangers is the appropriate charge to made here.

  13. Pig, how is public concern in this case a right vs. left issue for you? Do you assume that everyone who rides a bicycle is a Democrat?

  14. Brent:

    Not all lefties are Democrats. There are quite a few lefties who are Republicans….some of them are known as civil libertarians. LOL.

    I love gigging you guys (in Asheville) every chance I get.

  15. Southpaw

    weird….I’m a lefty. Been one since I was born. Can’t pen legibly with the right at all.
    And when I do, it just looks ignorant, kinda like what the Pig is writing.
    Whether it’s called ‘assault’ or ‘attempted murder,’
    Charles Diez broke the law and should be severely punished. I think we can all agree on that.
    We all need to be more careful out there.
    It’s an F’d up world.

  16. justnewsplease

    Premeditation means that A)there was a weapon involved and B) the weapon was not at the ready when used. The only time a murder would not be considered premeditated would be in certain crime of passion scenarios or if you already have your weapon out and aimed. The only reason every murder isn’t charged with this is because the lesser charges are easier to get convictions. Since NC is a carry and conceal state the fireman would have had to pull his weapon out of a pocket or holster which is enough time for premeditation. I hope they sue the crap out of him for what he put that family through especially the 3 year old who saw her father get shot in the head.

  17. Robert Burkhardt

    nuvue makes a point:what about the gun itself?Is it registered?Was it licensed to be carried/concealed in the vehicle?If not,was he arrested on these charges as well?Did/will the grand jury indict him on such charges?Stacking related gun charges on top of the crime could mean more jail time if convicted-and if the prosecutor and the judge have the courage to do the right thing.

  18. T100C-1970

    Folks, if you believe there is a miscarriage here, it is neither Dietz nor the G-J at which you should direct your ire. It is Ron Moore. Read the well-reasoned posting by Rob Close below and you will understand what happened here.

  19. chops

    Does anyone remember that cartoon (was it Molton’s?) with the abortion clinic gunman, where the guy says something like “I kill to save lives”… ?

    …same demented Diez logic.

  20. travelah

    with regard to premeditation …

    The State must prove the following elements of premeditated, first degree murder: “(1) an unlawful killing; (2) with malice; (3) with the specific intent to kill formed after some measure of premeditation and deliberation.” State v. Peterson, 361 N.C. 587, 595, 652 S.E.2d 216, 223 (2007) (citations omitted); see also N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-17 (2007) (requiring proof of a murder perpetrated by means of “willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing”).

    There was no premeditation involved here and the attempted murder charge as originally charged was unsustanable.

  21. Paul -V-

    Just a heads-up: An informal conversation about this incident is going to happen Wednesday – August 12th during the monthly “Friends of Asheville Transit” meeting at the Thirsty Monk. (Lower level)

    Details here:

    Friends Of Asheville Transit is a social club that meets to discuss public transit and the status of various civic infrastructure projects.

    The cyclists want to know how they can channel their feelings into constructive action. Transit-wonks want to know how we can reach out to a block that would support muti-modal infrastructure.

    Their could be some good synergy coming out from this gathering.

  22. Brendan

    I’m a cyclist happy to join the boycott against Asheville. You won’t get my tourist dollars anymore.

  23. Stephen Lange

    This should be classified as a hate crime.( I have already seen a difference in how people are driving around here). Unless something is done by the ‘cycling community’ it is going to be open season on cyclists. We need to obey all laws, rules and be as courteous as we can…and look at license plate numbers, and take pictures, and call the police if anyone crosses the line.

  24. Bjorn

    Another shinning example of blind justice, perhaps it’s time to appoint judges who can see. If Diez’s bullet actually lodged in Simons’ brain, then would the murder charge have been upheld?

  25. grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Insanity or just plain ol’ being mean seem to be in fashion in Asheville. What kind of judge did not hold an officer of the law accountable for behavior that was criminal and completely outside of any code of conduct!!! Bizarre and scary. I want so much to see the green Asheville that is advertised!!!

  26. Piffy!

    I have to agree with travelah and spanky on this one. The guy was incorrectly charged in the first place. It is unfortunate so many arent willing to actually study the law and find out what these definitions means and why.

    I think the real question remains, as posed by Rob Close, [b]why was he incorrectly charged in the first place?[/b]

  27. travelah

    He was incorrectly charged because that is a standard practice among many police departments who when given the chance load the charges against whoever they arrest. A single crime for example can result in several different charges.

    Perhaps it made the arresting officer feel really manly to arrest somebody on the charge of attempted first degree murrrrrder. I think some of these bozos get their training from watching old Perry Mason reruns. This was an escalation from a heated exchange that went postal. We don’t know what words were exchanged or what triggered the idiot to pull his weapon. The man deserves the current charges against him and I suspect (purely speculation) that the bicyclist might think twice before riding down the lane blocking traffic and then getting self righteous in a road rage incident.

  28. Asheville Dweller

    Wow travelah, it sounds like you really hate the Police Department.

    [b]I think some of these bozos get their training from watching old Perry Mason reruns. [/b]

    Typical Liberal response. I bet you are the first to call the cops when you need ’em, though, huh?

  29. The speculated behavior of the cyclist keeps coming up, here and everywhere I’ve seen and heard conversation about this incident. But, for all we know, the cyclists were obeying every traffic law.

    Look, there will always be pedestrians, bicycles, and even tractors on our roads. And until every road has a bike lane and a sidewalk attached, people in cars will have to share the space.

  30. entopticon

    If Diez gets just 20 months for shooting at a man’s head, likely permanently traumatizing his wife and 3 year old daughter, it will be a complete outrage.

    The thought of the terror that that 3 year old girl must have experienced after seeing her father shot in the head is absolutely heartbreaking.

    I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know what the correct legal recourse is for certain, but Alexander Diez deserves to be locked up for a very, very long time.

  31. Mister Blister

    Why does it matter that he was f***ing sober? It would have been better if he had been drunk with impaired judgement.

  32. nuvue

    I saw that he had a gun carry permit….from alabama. Is it the gun he used? I’m so sick of gun totin morons using vigilante justice, makes me so mad I could shoot ’em.
    Glad the fire-man wasn’t in Denny’s when the girl was breastfeeding in public.

    Boy, over on Topix an amazing amount of folks are in support of the fire-man. What is this comin to? Hell, I hate the way the firetruck blasts near our house, screamin sirens and inturrupting traffic,making a huge traffic hazard, but I’m not goin to shoot anybody over it…..

  33. Bjorn

    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!

  34. John

    Gun carry permits are not specific to a particular gun.

    Hitting the guy in the helmet was incredible. He was definitely shooting to kill.

  35. John:

    That statement was a non sequitor.

    My firearms instructors have always told me never to shoot at someone unless you are trying to kill them. (Of course, they also say aim for center of mass, too).

  36. John

    TP – let me elaborate … getting hit in the helmet was a miracle for the bike rider. A ‘Pulp Fiction’ moment. The guy was trying to kill him no doubt.

    The fact that Diez was sober should have him locked up for longer. 2nd degree attempted murder. I’ve watched enough of ‘The Last 48’ to level that charge.

  37. nuvue

    TP, don’t want you to take sides here, but do you condone this murder attempt? Do you think this is a good response to someone giving you the finger?
    What would you do in this situation? ( You be the fire-man and I’ll be the bike rider….with a sneer, tattoo’s, long hair,cussin you out with a Boston accent, and shooting the bird)

  38. phdbd

    It kind of gets missed that he shot him in the back (of the head) as he was walking away.

    “I’m talking to you boy!” Blam.

    Is there a difference between trying to kill a person and just trying to shoot them in the back of the head?

    You watch…this guy is going to get off. Mark my words.

  39. phdbd

    “Progressive” L.A.?

    Would this be the same forward thinking town where a bunch of fascist pigs pulled an unarmed black man from his car and attempted to beat him to death on camera?

    Or is that some make believe liberal paradise that exists in the minds of folk on the other side of the mason dixon?

  40. Matt Howard

    Violent crime being pled down or swept under the rug is the stuff of urban legend in this town.

    Asheville: keeping the crime statistics tourist friendly!

  41. travelah

    It would be the same forward thinking town where a bunch of black thugs pulled an unarmed white man from the cab of his truck and crushed his skull with chunks of concrete.

  42. Jon Elliston

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for the passionate dialog here, but please, keep the conversation civil.

    We’ve just had to close a post on this thread that called someone a swine and said they hoped said person would be run over by a truck. That won’t do here.

    Jon Elliston
    Mountain Xpress

  43. Jon Elliston

    No, race-baiting’s not cool here either. Thanks for pointing that out.

  44. Piffy!

    [b]It would be the same forward thinking town where a bunch of black thugs pulled an unarmed white man from the cab of his truck and crushed his skull with chunks of concrete. [/b]

    [b]All I know is what Sarah Palin tells me about Hollywood. [/b]

  45. Jon Elliston

    Tough call on travelah’s post. Not sure if he’s race-baiting or not. Travelah, are you? I know you’re describing something that actually happened, but what does it, and the matter of race, have to do with the present discussion?

  46. Piffy!

    Well, i think it came about because he completely missed the humor in brebro’s Sara Palin-esque reference to LA being ‘ultra liberal hollywood elites’ or somesuch nonsense.

    Of course, he probably had no idea he was actually proving MS Palin wrong in her assertions by attempting to cherry-pick examples of racial tensions in LA (not to mention having absolutely nothing to do with the topic)

  47. Carter

    I think this is ridiculous. Anything short of pulling a weapon is not worthy of getting shot in the head people. Let the cops do their job if he was endangering his daughter (and that one only be in the case of blatantly disobeying the traffic laws which I DOUBT due to being on the same bike as the girl most bikers do not put themselves in dangerous situations) this fireman should have called 911 like any normal citizen I don’t care what his job is.
    I’m no lawyer, but my wife is one and I almost think a Bar complaint could be put in against Ron Moore for this how can you not throw in second degree murder? But not a lawyer and more familiar with defense than prosecution.

  48. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Jon Elliston wrote: “We’ve just had to close a post on this thread that called someone a swine and said they hoped said person would be run over by a truck. That won’t do here.”

    A slight change-of-subject here, but is this the same newspaper that recently ran a Molton “Pigdemic” cartoon depicting locals fornicating with swine? But now (gasp) calling someone a swine just “won’t do here”?

  49. travelah

    Jon, it was in response to the previous baiting post attempting to paint a very diverse city with a particular racist brush. Please feel free to delete it if you find it offensive. That was not my intent but it probably isn’t fitting for this thread.

  50. travelah

    Carter, your wife can offer up a commentary on this but “second degree” murder is usually determined by the circumstances of the crime. I may be wrong but I do not think there is a statute determining “attempted second degree murder”.
    The guy is being charged appropriately in this matter. This is not a trivial charge. The penalty for conviction in this case could get him roughly 4 – 8 years as a first time offender. It appears to me that this crowd wants him locked up for life.

  51. Jon Elliston

    Betty asks: “is this the same newspaper that recently ran a Molton ‘Pigdemic’ cartoon depicting locals fornicating with swine?”

    Sort of, but not exactly. We did run the Molton cartoon. But it didn’t depict anyone fornicating with swine, it made an inference that *one, unnamed local cartoon character that isn’t even real* confused “swine flu” with a disease sexually transmitted between people and pigs.

    And while many found Molton’s use of a stereotype and a scatological riff distasteful (while some found it either harmless or funny or both), he was not making a direct personal attack on a person by calling them a name or suggesting it would be good if violence came to said person. So there lies at least some important distinctions between the two examples.

    It’s taken a long and near-constant watch and interaction to keep some of our online threads from veering off into vitriol and personal attacks. And I’m glad we’ve kept that effort up; sure, it can be time-consuming; sure, sometimes there are tough judgement calls, which readers fortunately follow and debate just as they’re doing here.

    So please keep the thoughtful critiques and comments coming, and thanks to all who do that.


  52. Bjorn

    This is a gross miscarriage of justice, one lady justice wasn’t allowed to attend.

    Is it now the norm to shoot someone you disagree with, or is it unwritten city employee policy?

    What message has this sent to the community & world at large? That vigilante “justice” is accepted here in Asheville? Isn’t it a crime to shoot an unarmed citizen in Asheville, or did someone pass new legislation when we were sleeping?

  53. Rob Close

    Travelah – where do you get 4-8 years from? 4-8 years sounds appropriate, but the article implies closer to 2.

    “The assault charge, a Class E felony, carries a 20- to 25-month presumptive range.”

  54. John

    I’m not a lawyer …. but … many states can charge someone with second degree attempted murder. Do a simple google search. Does NC? If so would this fit?

    20-25 months is a joke. Even 4-8 is weak. He meant to kill the guy and missed … in the words of the infamous Maxwell Smart … ‘by that much’.

  55. cwaster

    Only one reason to shoot at someone- you intend to kill them. Especially if you are sober when you do it.

  56. It is not unusual for someone to get 7 years for killing someone, especially since structured sentencing passed. It takes a lot of the decision making ability of the Judge away from him and sentences are decided by statute.

  57. travelah

    Rob, an assault charge with intent to kill and inflicting bodily injury has a 42-90+ month sentencing guideline for firsttime offenders. You are probably correct that teh sentence will be lighter because there was no serious bodily injury. Without the injury the senctencing guidelines are

  58. travelah

    If the man is convicted of the crime, what is the proper sentence he should receive for this crime?

    (It’s kind of fun watching liberals get hard core on criminal sentencing.)

  59. Rob Close

    i think the primary liberal argument against criminal sentencing is that, in general, we throw people in prison far longer than is needed to reform them. never having spent a moment in jail myself, i can only imagine the effect a single year would have on me. for most infractions of the law, i believe that a year is plenty time to contemplate ones actions.

    for crimes “malum in se” – EVIL crimes – well, longer than a year. for this guy, 4-8 years did seem appropriate to me – if he served 5 years, i’d be satisfied. that number feels very arbitrary though, especially since i don’t want to compare it to current sentencing for other crimes – since i feel that generally people are sentenced for too long.

  60. Piffy!

    [b](It’s kind of fun watching liberals get hard core on criminal sentencing.)[/b]

    Ain’t the irony delicious?

    to be fair, though, I think the initial headline “Murder Case dropped…” and the way the entire ‘charge’ issue has been dealt with left many confused at first…

    But yes, your point is very valid. I’m as tickled as you, i imagine.

  61. entopticon

    Golly, I wonder if travelah would be taking the same position if “a bunch of black thugs” (seriously travelah, do you have to wear your backwardness on your sleeves like that?) shot at a white man’s head (in front of his wife and three year old daughter no less).

    If you believe that he would, please contact me right away, because I have a bridge to sell you for an amazingly low, low price.

  62. entopticon

    Historically, liberals oppose the shameful inequities of mandatory sentencing and draconian drug laws, but it is not exactly new for them to care about justice for the victim. It myriad cases it has actually been liberals, particularly in cases of spousal abuse, gun crimes, rape, and hate crimes, who have called for stiffer penalties, so it is hardly surprising and not at all inconsistent for liberals to be calling for a long sentence in this case.

  63. luv2paint66

    I’m not surprised that this has turned into a Liberal vs Right Wing issue.

    But, has anyone else asked if the victims child is ok? This poor kid saw his dad get shot in the head. This wacko firefighter was arguing with his victim about his child riding on a child bike seat, a guess the shooter was trying to explain to his victim how unsafe this was.

    I think it is more unsafe to try and kill the child’s father with a head shot. This guy shot to kill!

  64. John

    Hopefully, the 3 year old’s memories of this will blend into what most of us remember of being 3 … practically nothing.

  65. travelah

    I wonder if the child saw his father pop a bird after blocking traffic and if he did, did he grasp the corellation between his father’s bad behavior and the bad behavior of the ‘perp. Of course that is not to generate sympathy for the shooter but maybe somebody can ask daddy why he acted as he did

  66. Bjorn

    Do you have proof that Mr. Simon flipped anyone off? Even if he did, if someone reacts as insasnely as Diez to a hand gesture, he clearly needs a padded room & NOT A GUN!

  67. luv2paint66

    Hey “travelah” sounds like you were at the scene, were you?

    Shooting someone a bird in front of a child, dose not make it ok to shoot another human being with a GUN in front of a child.

    I think it’s safe to say that the child will only remember the yelling that took place and the loud pop from the gun, not the horrific, dangerous middle finger his dad produced in the heat of argument.


  68. Tweaker Jim

    [b]Of course that is not to generate sympathy for the shooter but maybe somebody can ask daddy why he acted as he did [/b]

    Riiiiight. Not to defend the ‘perp, but obviously this guy did something to deserve being shot at with his back turned, right drivelah?

    I guess you don’t need facts to form an opinion. You just fabricate whatever storyline suits your “i hate liberals” agenda.

    Oh, and “Blocking traffic”. How exactly was a bicyclist on the road breaking any law? Oh, right, he wasn’t. Not that either way would justify Diez’s angry outburst.

    Once again, drivelha manufactures his own reality.

  69. travelah

    Twiter jim …. no, he didn’t do anytying to deserve to be shot … now get to hell out of the middle of the road.

  70. Bjorn

    travelah- Is there Proof, that Mr. Simon was riding his bike in the middle of the road?

    Because there’s certainly no proof (in my opinion) of Diez’s sanity!

  71. entopticon

    Sounds like a thinly veiled death threat. Nice, travelah. (not)

    Why Jon has a different set of rules for you, for everything from your incessant race-baiting to the thinly veiled death threat above, while censoring others for comparatively miniscule offenses, remains a mystery.

    And by the way travelah, why on Earth is it that you keep taking the word of the murderous lunatic who shot an innocent person in front of a 3 year old girl, over the victim’s? Apparently it is just because a conservative shot a liberal. There is no rational reason to take Diez’s word for anything.

    For all you know, Alan Simons did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever, yet you keep pushing the murderous lunatic’s side of the story here anyway. Get help.

  72. John

    In no way did the biker deserve what happened. I’m pretty sure Trav agrees.

    Death threat … give me a break.

  73. travelah

    entopi, what in hell are you talking about?? Getting out of the middle of the road is what keeps people from getting killed needlessly. Didn’t your mommy ever tell you to stop playing in the road or you might get run over?

  74. entopticon

    Again travelah, the question is, why are you taking the word of Diez, a murderous lunatic, over that of the victim? What makes you believe Diez over the victim? The only one claiming that Alan Simons did anything improper is an attempted murderer, yet you choose to accept his side of the story.

    And yes, you purposely making the same threat that Diez supposedly made (“get the hell out of the middle of the road”) before he shot his victim, does indeed qualify as a not so thinly veiled threat.

  75. travelah

    What an absurd man you are. I’m not taking anybody’s word on anything here. It is common sense with regard to a lot of problems in the area regarding bikes and autos. Get to hell out of the middle of the road. I’ve run into this problem numerous times.
    I am guessing you think the shooter just picked a target at random and shot at him. I am guessing they had an exchange of words or gestures to the point the shooter lost his control and did an idiotic thing. The shooter should be accountable for his actions and so should the biker.

    In the meantime, get to hell out of the middle of the road before you get hurt …. common sense you know.

  76. entopticon

    travelah, you may think it is in good taste to jokingly mimic the same basic threat that Diez issued to Simons before shooting at his head in front of his 3 year old, but some of us don’t.

    Again, you have no proof that Simons was in the middle of the road, or that he did anything improper whatsoever, but for some twisted reason you keep assuming that he must have deserved it in some way. He didn’t. Diez is a murderous, unhinged lunatic. Whatever the case, Simons is in no way way responsible for what Diez did.

    I am not in the middle of any road. Nobody here is in the middle of any road, so you can stop mimicking Diez already.

  77. TJ

    [b]I am guessing you think the shooter just picked a target at random and shot at him. I am guessing they had an exchange of words or gestures to the point the shooter lost his control and did an idiotic thing. The shooter should be accountable for his actions and so should the biker.[/b]

    Riiiiiight, You are “guessing” without any real evidence either way. I am not guessing. I am not postulating anything beyond the stated record. I haven’t made a “guess” about how anyone acted, other than one man shot at another man, who was unarmed and had his back turned, according to the official story.

    You are implying that the man did something to “deserve” being shot at, and implying you have access to knowledge that you clearly don’t. You might as well speculate the Fireman went out with the intention to shoot someone, if you want random speculation without proof.

    And obviously, regardless to any of this, nothing the man “might” have done would have justified what occurred. To imply so is truly insane.

    You, “travealh”, appear to be an angry, bitter man with a personal vendetta against a bicycle’s right to be on the road. I suggest you take a driver’s ed course to freshen up your actual knowledge of the rules of the road. Unless you think the Rules don’t apply to you, and vigilante justice is a good precedent for our legal system.

    Perhaps a local crossing guard or telephone repairman will fire a shot at you for changing lanes without signaling, or driving while talking on a cellphone, and we can all speculate on what you did to provoke such an action. Maybe it wont even be for an actual infraction, but merely a perceived infraction, as was the case here.

  78. Piffy!

    [b]I am not in the middle of any road. Nobody here is in the middle of any road,[/b]

    Well, you got that part Right. and Left.

  79. travelah

    TJ, I havent implied a thing regarding any justification. In fact I have stated the opposite. There is no justification for shooting anybody in this matter. This is an issue of raod rage that definately got out of control. Now, unless you think the guy picked the cyclist at random, something resulted in a confrontation. Most people can guess what would cause a confrontation between the driver of a car and a cyclist and probably be right.

    How do you know there was a perceived “infraction”? It seems you are engaging in the very same speculation you accuse me of.

  80. Bjorn

    It’s utterly appalling and an insult to justice & the community, that Diez has been allowed to simply walk away Scott Free! All without being held accountable for his irresponsible & dangerous actions.

    One might ask exactly how far does the invisible protection of public servants extend & who’s being protected when that coverage tramples on the rights of a Citizen?

    In the interest of Justice I hope the City DA, will reconsider the terror that Diez inflicted on Mr. Simons’ & his family.

  81. Piffy!

    [b]Now, unless you think the guy picked the cyclist at random, something resulted in a confrontation. Most people can guess what would cause a confrontation between the driver of a car and a cyclist and probably be right.[/b]

    Well, as someone who has actually ridden a bike in the asheville area on many occasions (which you obviously have no experience with), I can say that drivers need no logical provocation to yell at, threaten, hit, throw objects, honk at, or otherwise scare the living daylights out of bicyclists who are entirely within the limits of both law and common sense.

    I know that on at least a few occasions, I’ve seen cars actually [i]go out of their way[/i] to swerve towards bikers. So, sure ‘people’ can ‘guess’ what happened, but there is little to no proof or precedent that would imply that a man who feels it prudent to fire his gun at a man who has his backed turned needs a “good” reason to lash out at a person on a bicycle.

    Tell you what. You come take a lesurely, legal bike ride with me sometime, and we’ll see how well you deal with water bottles thrown at your head, horns blaring from behind, etc etc etc etc etc.
    You insist upon implying the bicyclist did something to ‘deserve’ being shot at drivel-ha. It’s ridiculous.

  82. Gordon Smith

    Thunder Pig,

    Being in favor of violence against cyclists is abhorrent.

    Taking the side of the man who maliciously shot a cyclist is sick and wrong.

    Here’s hoping you will apologize to the cyclists and stop promoting violence.

  83. mjp

    an outrageous miscarriage of our nojustice system. the cop involved in the road rage incident is suspended w/o pay and this murderous psycho is suspended WITH pay????????????as an aside ,and as an advocate of concealed carry, if this POS had shot at me and missed he would have been terminated never mind suspended.

    “all that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

  84. travelah

    pfft, I am an avid biker. I didn’t insist the cyclist did something to deserve being shot. I have stated repeatedly quite the opposite.

  85. entopticon

    T-Pig, I can’t say that I am at all surprised that you would take the word of a deranged, murderous lunatic over his victims. That’s how you roll, and your politics is an unmitigated expression of it.

    Did you happen to notice that in that sick picture that you posted, the bicyclists are on the right side of the road, where they belong, and the car is on the left side going the other way? Of course, you have never been one to let facts get in the way; otherwise you wouldn’t be the right wing extremist that you are.

    I want you to do something T-Pig: Imagine for one second that each of the bikers in that pic is someone that you know and love. Imagine that one of them is your daughter, or your nephew, or your sister, or your friend. Is it still funny?

  86. I posted it as a reminder of what can happen when bicyclists try to be in the same place as vehicles that out mass them by several orders of magnitude, and I do find that lack of realization funny. Of course, my high school Physics teacher taught us about transfer of momentum using babies, bicycles, cars and tractor trailers as objects of different mass. His tests included such gems as “a car with a mass of 1800 kg traveling at 80 km/h hits a bicyclist with a mass of 80 kg traveling in the same direction at 20 km/h. The bicycle weighs 5 kg. Assuming perfect transfer of momentum and an upward angle of 35 degrees, how far will the bicyclist and bicycle travel before bouncing?”

    Bicycles do not belong in lanes being used by motor vehicles, and should stay in specially marked lanes. I have come very (very) close to taking out bicyclists when they have darted in front of me (but this only seems to happen in Asheville or other large cities). Lucky for them my reflexes and brakes are superb.

    If bicyclists want respect, they should earn it with good manners when they are on the road.

    I wish that there was a licensing and taxation mechanism in place for bicyclists who wish to use public roadways. Licensing so they can learn the rules of the road and become cognizant of the dangers they face on the road. (I can’t tell you how many times I see bicyclists run red lights and stop signs and make unsafe lane changes and the absence of hand signals to signal their intentions). The taxation to pay for bicycle lanes. They should pay their own way…not have free ride paid for by motor vehicles.

  87. entopticon

    “I posted it as a reminder of what can happen when bicyclists try to be in the same place as vehicles that out mass them by several orders of magnitude, and I do find that lack of realization funny.”

    “That photo is from a bicycle race.”

    And the award for the most ridiculously asinine logic imaginable goes to…. drum roll please…. ahh, that would be T-Pig. You posted a pic of completely innocent people dying unimaginably horrible deaths, and you laughed about it, calling it funny.

    And just to compound the lunacy, you tell us that the picture of innocent people losing their lives in a horrible crash that was in no way their fault should serve as some sort of idiotic reminder. Apparently a reminder to watch out for drugged out murderers while competing in a bike race.

    Yeah, real funny. And such sound reasoning. Not.

  88. entopticon

    Think about this T-Pig… That’s not a photoshopped pic of imaginary violence. Every single one of the people in the photo that you find so funny has a family. A family who was devastated. They were all someone’s children, and they probably had children of their own. Children who growing up without a parent. Wives losing their husbands. Brothers losing their brothers, to a violent, painful end. And you think it’s funny. Get help.

  89. Piffy!

    [b]Yeah, real funny. And such sound reasoning. Not. [/b]

    People who use the term “not” should be shot.

    Now, back on Topic. I hate both bicyclists and cars. What we need are more heavily armed pedestrians to thin out their ranks a bit.

  90. Piffy!

    [b]pfft, I am an avid biker. I didn’t insist the cyclist did something to deserve being shot. I have stated repeatedly quite the opposite. [/b]

    Nonsense. You said; [b]”I am guessing they had an exchange of words or gestures to the point the shooter lost his control and did an idiotic thing. The shooter should be accountable for his actions and so should the biker.”[/b]

  91. Piffy!

    [b]I take the word of Dietz that the bicyclist was in the middle of the road because I have seen that happen far too often. [/b]

    Ummm, where has Diez said anything of the sort?

    And bicyclists are allowed to take the whole lane. That isnt breaking any law. In fact, it is illegal for a car to pass a bicycle until it is safe to do so.

  92. Alan Simons

    I am not sure why I can not get anything posted here,is it because you dont believe this is really me ,or am I being protected?either way mountnx you have my email tell me why,But for those of you out there that think that my family and I Provoked this,You have lost your minds,And yes I can prove We did nothing wrong That morning,Thats all I will say about that.On a better note,My Family and I would like to thank the witnesses that were there that day to help.It was because of your quick actions that we were able to find the man who did this.Thanks again..Alan

  93. entopticon

    ho-ho-ho The (RU486)… shooting jokes on a thread about a guy who was just shot in town. You are just so clever. Not (I like “not,” so lump it).

  94. travelah

    And bicyclists are allowed to take the whole lane. That isnt breaking any law. In fact, it is illegal for a car to pass a bicycle until it is safe to do so.

    … and that is the root of the problem with regard to the activist bikers. There is no need for a bicycle to be in the middle of the road. The bike becomes a hazzard.

  95. entopticon

    Watch out travelah, I’m pretty sure the activist bikers are conspiring with the gay Marxists and black nationalist librarians in their evil bid to take over the world.

  96. Piffy!

    [b]… and that is the root of the problem with regard to the activist bikers. There is no need for a bicycle to be in the middle of the road. The bike becomes a hazzard. [/b]

    “Activist bikers”. That’s rich. Is that how “Activist Judges” get to court? On their “activist Bike”?

    So, if a bicyclist is ‘[i]not breaking the law[/i]’, they are a “hazzard”? Sounds like that law needs to be changed. Good luck with that.

    And good luck with hugging the side of the road, while cars pass you, illegally, and you have to dodge refuse, car doors, and unseen obstacles. Yeah, great advice all around.

    You have OBVIOUSLY never ridden a bike anywhere other than around your little gated community drivel-ha.

  97. travelah

    Yes, the law should be changed but if ever there was a move to do it, these activists you seem to deny exist would be up in arms over that.

    I have never lived in a gated community and never will.

  98. entopticon

    Oh, those bicycle activists exist alright travelah. As a matter of fact they are hiding in your bushes right now, shooting Marxist mind control beams into your kids’ rooms. Next thing you know they will be listening to the devil’s music (you know, the “rock and roll”).

    You may think that snap, crackle, and pop coming from your Rice Crispies is completely innocent, but it is really secret code embedded by the gay socialist black-nationalist Muslim bicycle activists. Be afraid; be very afraid.

  99. Piffy!

    entop, it might give you some insight into drivel-ha’s mindstate if you knew he is a self-loathing former socialist.

    He has shared with us in the past that in his youth in the 60’s and 70’s, he once considered himself a “Communist”.

    Puts his paranoia in perspective, eh?

  100. travelah

    A little bit of over exaggeration, pfft … I was a tad bit young in the 60s and I don’t think I ever described myself as a communist. As for self loathing, nothing could be further from truth although I am not sure what that has to do with cycling activists in Asheville. Hell, this town has an activist for everything under the sun. A cycling activist is even published this week suggesting autos are no longer the king of the road. He has claimed some degree of sovereignty of his own. Of course, this is all small potatoes with yourself and your new bud entoptee to lead the way of denial….. “get out of the middle of the road, Moron”

  101. travelah

    I should add …. this is my last post on the matter so flay away comradskis

  102. donaldsandusky

    You say ‘this town’ like you don’t live in coastal South Carolina, “travelah”.

    It sure is neat how this travelah “knows” the bicyclists were ‘in the middle of the road’, and flipping off drivers, despite no actual evidence of anything of that nature.

    He sure goes out of his way to defend a man who, by all recorded accounts, appears to have been in the wrong (the cyclist was not charged with any crime), just so he can be ‘against’ what his own mind perceives as some kind of ‘activist conspiracy’.

  103. entopticon

    In case you missed it travelah, this what Alan Simons had to say earlier in this thread:

    “for those of you out there that think that my family and I Provoked this,You have lost your minds,And yes I can prove We did nothing wrong That morning,Thats all I will say about that.On a better note,My Family and I would like to thank the witnesses that were there that day to help.”

    That means you travelah. Frankly, I think the same malicious inclinations that make you fight for tax cuts for the rich at the expense of slashing the budgets of programs for the needy, and fight against universal healthcare for all of our citizens rich and poor like any civilized nation, are what makes you take the word of an unhinged murderous lunatic that shot an innocent man in the head in front of his 3 year old daughter over his victim.

    There are others such as Frank Schaeffer and Carlton Pearson, who have navigated their way past the dark forces of right wing extremist fundamentalism, so there is still hope for you. Like many of the most prominent founders of this country, they awoke to the fact that God is far too big for any one religion, and God’s love is universal. Once they awoke to that, their eyes were open to the darkness that steers right wing fundamentalism.

    I’ll pray that you will be as fortunate as they were, and that that dark force that pushes you to side with a man who shot an innocent man over his victim, the same dark force that makes you side with cruelty and darkness on most every issue all day long, is overcome by the forces of love and compassion. Really.

  104. Rob Close

    “are what makes you take the word of an unhinged murderous lunatic”

    dude, learn to read between the lines. travelah wasn’t doing what you’re saying.

    i’ve been trying to post this for over a day now, but i keep getting censored. thanks, MX!

  105. John

    Rob – Some like to interpret things in a way that keeps the drama at the highest possible level. That’s a filter that’s hard to change.

  106. Piffy!

    Really, so when travelah claimed that this guy was ‘in the middle of the road’, flipping people off, he wasnt making an apology for attempted murder and attempting to re-write the facts of the case?

    “John” is travehal.

  107. John

    If you want to think I’m one of Trav’s alter ego’s … go ahead .. fine by me.

    The only point I was making is that some like to stir the pot …. some need to stir the pot …. and some like their pot at max rpm all the time.

  108. entopticon

    Rob Close said: “dude, learn to read between the lines. travelah wasn’t doing what you’re saying.”

    Dude, dude-arino, dude-arama, stop trying to read between the lines and learn to read the lines, because your claim is completely ridiculous. Even Alan Simons, the victim himself, was offended by travelah’s shameful attempts to blame the victim. All that crap about activist bicyclists and about how Simons should take responsibility for being in the middle of the road etc, as if he did anything wrong, speaks for itself. I don’t have to read between the lines because the lines speak for themselves just fine.

  109. entopticon

    John, I don’t think you are one of travelah’s alter egos. I still remember the time last year when you were trying to attack something that I said, but you accidentally attacked a quote by travelah in my post. That was classic.

    I do like how it frustrates travelah when the (PFKaP) and I are in agreement about something.

  110. Buncy

    Grand juries are not always the entity to denounce when a pattycake indictment occurs. The DA may have been pulling punches. The indictment which came down may have been the one he was asking for. I have seen it happen plenty of times before, where the controversy got political. OTOH, see below. This case put the DA on the horns of a dilemma.

    The first charge of attempted first degree murder was impossible to prosecute in court because of the requirements of premeditation and deliberation. First degree murder is cold-blooded murder. The offense does not ordinarily occur during heated roadrage situations. This homicide would have been a murder with malice, if it had occurred, but with no deliberation or premeditation. So the fireman Diez could have been charged and indicted for attempted murder, just not attempted FIRST degree murder. At common law there are 4 degrees of culpable homicide — murder 1, murder 2, and two degrees of manslaughter– one with intent to kill, and the other without intent to kill.

    So the indictment we ended up with is an undercharge, while the original charge was an overcharge.

    IMHO, the shooter should have been indicted for attempted murder with malice. That would be attempted murder 2.

    Logically the accused did intend to kill the victim, but fortunately the bullet was deflected by his helmet.

    OTOH, I doubt the charge of attempted murder would fly in NC. See:

    Oh, the law. If you love the law and sausages, it’s best not to watch either of them being made.

  111. Rob Close

    travelah did NOT claim the guy was in the middle of the road. that’s the point. he implied that bikers shouldn’t be there – and then fully explained what he meant. you’ve continued to ignore this, and live in your own fantasy world.


  112. John

    Ent – You think I attributed something Trav said to you? That was surely when someone was pulling ACORN duty to besmirch me. Jon knows who does that.

  113. entopticon

    Rob Close, if only I could take you seriously, “dude.” Sorry, but try as I might, I just can’t. Even the victim himself was offended by travelah’s attempts to put some of the blame on him, so if that’s not enough for you, I certainly won’t try to bring you back from your delusion.

    Of course, you are the same person that believes Ron Paul when he says that he shouldn’t be held accountable for the unconscionable bigotry in his own personal newsletter, which went on for decades, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you would buy into travelah’s baloney.

  114. entopticon

    It was a while ago now John, so I really don’t recall exactly what it was. I think it had something to do with Lincoln and the Confederate flag.

    You are definitely right to be afraid that ACORN is out to get you. I am pretty sure they are sending secret socialist brain-rays through your microwave, so you may want to think twice before heating up your next corndog. And a lot of them black, so they are surely out to get you.

    The fact that it irks you and travelah if the (PFKaP) is friendly to me is enough to make me want to make an effort to be friendly with him more often.

  115. John

    I’m sure you can’t recall. You made it up or you just dreamed it.

    It doesn’t irk me that you and PFKaP are buddies now. It prob irks PFKaP though.

  116. entopticon

    John, if you say it never happened, maybe you are right. It was a year ago, and it’s possible I confused you with William P Miller. To be honest, you right wing fundamentalist extremists all look kind of alike to me. Maybe the (PFKaP) is right; maybe you are travelah after all. For all intents and purposes, you might as well be.

  117. John

    I’m pretty sure I am right … unless you can prove otherwise …. I’m waiting.

    Based on your past statements .. everyone but you is a right wing fundamentalist extremist. It must be lonely out there.

  118. entopticon

    Actually John, by no means do I think everybody other than me is a right wing fundamentalist extremist, but I think the center of the right wing has been moved to the absurdly extreme fringes of the far right, particularly here in rural Appalachia. Of course, you are a bit to the right of Attila the Hun, so I expect nothing less of you. Lonely? Far from it. Fortunately, there is no shortage of like-minded progressive liberals in Asheville.

    Do you feel lonely John? The Mountain Xpress doesn’t have any articles about how great Sarah Palin is, or how global warming is a hoax, or how liberal Yankees are trying to commit cultural genocide on white culture, or how immigrants are taking over, or about how terrible it is that the ten commandments aren’t written into the Constitution. There aren’t any right wing cartoons, ever, or Christian affirmations. There’s nothing but left wing cartoons and astrology. Week after week, it’s a bunch of liberal commentary about liberal issues, liberal musicians, and liberal arts, yet you troll around here all day anyway. The editors try to pretend that it is bipartisan because they want more advertising dollars, but you would have to be a blind fool not to see that this is a liberal weekly, virtually identical to countless other liberal weeklies across the country. Must get awfully lonely for you, but at least you have travelah and the libertarian trolls I suppose.

  119. John

    Ent – I try not to impose a political position on every facet of my life. You like the drama and the intensity. Its more than most can take. Left or right.

  120. entopticon

    Yeah John, you are just an angel (and so nonpartisan) and you just make snippy little right wing extremist quips all day long to keep your blood pressure down, right? Your posts are moderated, aren’t they?

  121. Piffy!


    Just out of curiosity, is there any other kid of ‘right winger’ in your mind other than “extremist”?

    i ask because i dont think i have ever seen you use the term “right” without “wing extremist” after it.

    Just curious. Please don’t take it the wrong way.

  122. entopticon

    The (PFKaP), absolutely. In fact, I am conservative on some issues myself, and I have many friends who consider themselves to be on the right. I use the qualifiers that I do to denote the fact that the right wing has been hijacked by extremist lunatics.

    Bill Maher said it better than I could, when he said: “The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.”

    There is nothing conservative about ignoring every major climate scientist on the planet on the issue of global warming. There is nothing conservative about blackening our skies with careless policies designed only to make global corporations have a higher bottom line. And most importantly, there is nothing conservative about social Darwinism. The “crunchy cons” may be the only authentic right wing conservatives left.

    For many years I considered myself to be liberal on social issues, but I had libertarianish concerns that made me consider myself to be more in line with the right at the core. When I began to be more aware of the actual political realities that affect people’s everyday lives, instead of just focussing on the abstract, reflexive dislike of government, I started to realize more and more that the center left, incrementalist though it may be, is where pragmatic change actually occurs, and my disgust for the far right only grew.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing about the bigoted, greedy backwardness of today’s far right wing that i appreciate. Real conservatives such as Barry Goldwater, flawed as they may have been, could have set precedent for a legacy with intellectual integrity, but the dimwitted fundamentalists that hijacked the far right have all but completely erased that potential.

    And as for people like Ron Paul and Alex Jones, it boggles the mind that people actually take their crap seriously.

  123. Piffy!

    Well, then why not just call them “extremist” or “insane” or “irrational” since they really have little to do with the “Right”?

  124. Piffy!

    But there is very little about their politics that could be considered “Right”, much less right.

  125. Piffy!

    [b]This seems like it is getting a little far away from the subject of the thread, so it may be best to leave it at that for now.[/b]

    Words i can’t fathom coming from you.

    But okay.

  126. entopticon

    The right wing is defined by whatever the platforms of the right are. The current center of the right is on the extremist fringes. I don’t think your argument that the far right is not even on the right is cogent, but if you replace the term “right” with “conservative,” there is a very strong argument to be made that the right wing is not very conservative at all.

  127. entopticon

    “Words i can’t fathom coming from you.”

    Seriously, I am quick to admit that I will see dendritic connections that may not be readily apparent to some people at times, but I try to keep to what I see as relevant for the most part. For example, I think the fact that fundamentalist Christians argue for tax cuts for the richest 1% at the expense of slashing programs for the needy is relevant to what is wrong with the right wing perspective on political issues. You may not see it that way, but I see it as the core issue.

    You go off topic every bit as much as me, and then some. A large proportion of your posts are impish personal attacks that have virtually nothing to do with the topic whatsoever, yet you are so blinded by your own hypocrisy that you have the nerve to say, “Words i can’t fathom coming from you.”

  128. molton

    brebro’s right. But HVLnative is a volunteer for the Guns For Tots program, so he gives back to the community over here.

  129. dmon

    Moore, the DA is gaming the system to protect the firefighter.

    No honest DA worth his salt would make the mistake of bringing a 1st degree charge in a case like this. He should probably be disbarred and a mistrial called.

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