2 felonies for cyclist in attack on driver
A raging cyclist who attacked a woman’s car with a metal lock last year during a Critical Mass bike ride in San Francisco pleaded guilty to two felony charges, prosecutors said Monday.
Ian Hespelt, 39, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism charges Friday in San Francisco Superior Court for the Aug. 28 attack on a Zipcar driver who was caught amid a group of cyclists on Marina Boulevard near Lyon Street.
Prosecutors did not pursue two additional charges of maliciously throwing a substance at a vehicle and false imprisonment that Hespelt was initially charged with.
Hespelt’s attorney, Justin Goodwin, said his client wanted “to take responsibility” for his role in the episode.
“This is a plea agreement that we came to after pretty extensive negotiations between myself, the district
attorney’s office and the court,” Goodwin said Monday.
Hespelt, he said, has already paid restitution for the property damage, and in lieu of jail time, he agreed to probation coupled with attending an anger management program.
The attack that was captured on video and widely seen online shows Hespelt bashing the Subaru driver’s side window with his metal U-lock.
The episode started when Hespelt and other cyclists blocked the unidentified woman’s station wagon in the middle of the street. When she tried to back up and drive off, Hespelt hurled his bike in front of her moving car as other cyclists shouted at her.
Finally, as the woman drove away, Hespelt began landing a barrage of blows on her car, eventually shattering her window.
Police later arrested the unmistakable suspect with a swirling handlebar mustache on Sept. 5 as he rode near AT&T Park during a Billy Joel concert. He was released after posting $90,000 bond, an amount a San Francisco judge lowered from $145,000.
Officials estimated Hespelt did roughly $1,400 in damage to the car he attacked before the frightened woman behind the wheel sped off with her dog cowering in the backseat.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón had sharp words for Hespelt in the days after the attack, saying he showed “despicable behavior.”
Hespelt is due in court on July 25 for sentencing.