Submitted by Guest Blogger:
Elliott James, Prosecutor Orleans Parish – From the Chronicles of America’s (and Norwich’s) Dumbest Criminals
NORWICH: 20-year old accountant trainee, Emma Way, not only knocked a cyclist off his bike but took to twitter to boast about it.
The cyclist, 29-year old Toby Hockley, was participating in the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive road riding event when the collision happened five miles from the finish line at Snetterton, near Norwich.
According to Hockley, “A car came tearing round the blind corner and narrowly missed a cyclist in front of me. She came on to my side of the road, I took the wing mirror off and I went flying off my bike into a hedge. She hit me really hard. I am lucky to be alive. But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up. The car was nowhere to be seen. She hit me, and she was gone. All I know is that it was a blonde girl driving. I have a sore elbow, a bruised knee, nettle stings from riding through the hedge, but nothing serious.”
Hockley initially didn’t intend to report the collision. Unable to identify the driver and there being no other witnesses, would have ended things – pre twitter. But Way was eager to tweet the world of her bout with the biker. That tweet brought down a wrath she had not anticipated. Social media users brought Way’s tweet to the attention of Norwich police. Imagine her shock when she received a tweet from police commanding her to report the collision at once.
What crimes could she have committed? Speaking of stateside crimes, her tweet could be interpreted as the intent to run Hockley off the road. If so, she could be guilty of a felonious assault. A car is considered a dangerous weapon in some jurisdictions. The use of a vehicle coupled with the intent to run Hockley off the road could be an attempt to commit murder. Way left the scene of an accident by her own admission, also a crime. Reckless conduct for consciously disregarding a risk that would endanger another or at minimum, a traffic offense for reckless driving.
Twitter users weren’t the only ones disgusted by Way’s lack of driving manners. In an effort to distance themselves, deputy managing partner of Larking Gowen, where Way is a trainee solicitor, had this to say: “We most certainly do not condone this behavior.” We are taking the incidents very seriously. A full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken. We have already spoken to Norfolk police.” According to an unnamed friend speaking on Way’s behalf, she has been suspended.
The woman with so much to boast about now has nothing to say. When the police investigation got underway, Way went into hiding. Her twitter went silent and was deleted. She has not made any twitter or Facebook comments about the incident since and has not spoken publicly.
The 18-word tweet Way pushed into the universe caused her public scorn, a suspension from her job and possibly criminal charges.
Her careless attitude was distasteful enough, not stopping to render aid to the cyclist, unforgivable. Her postings on social media, the ultimate folly. Twitter made it easy to catch up with this brazen roadway menace and marks another example of how social media is helping to bring down criminals.
(Source: The Huffington Post, Daily Mail)
- Tweet cyclist ‘lucky to be alive’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Trainee accountant’s Twitter boast about ‘knocking cyclist off his bike’ sparks police probe (thisismoney.co.uk)