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Monday, February 27, 2006
 
Bush In New Scandal?

Call it Bicycle-Gate:

The report, according to The Scotsman, describes a detachment of constables covering a road junction where the president would pass through. The report goes on: "[At] about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction at speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police officers present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for comin.'

"As he did this he lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground, causing both himself and his bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs. [The officer] fell to the ground, striking his head. The President continued along the ground for approximately five metres, causing himself a number of abrasions. The officers... then assisted both injured parties....

"At hospital, a doctor examined the constable and diagnosed damage to his ankle ligaments and issued him with crutches. The cause was officially recorded as: 'Hit by moving/falling object'."

At the time, the newspaper noted, Bush laughed off the incident, saying he should start "acting his age".

The Scotsman observed: "Details of precisely how the crash unfolded have until now been kept under wraps for fear of embarrassing both Bush and the injured constable. But the new disclosures are certain to raise eyebrows on Washington's Capitol Hill....

"In Scotland, an accident such as the one at Gleneagles could have led to police action. Earlier this year, Strathclyde Police issued three fixed penalty notices to errant cyclists as part of a crack-down on rogue riders. Legal experts also suggested lesser mortals could have ended up with a fixed penalty fine, prosecution, or at least a good ticking-off from officers."

John Scott, a human rights lawyer, said: "There's certainly enough in this account for a charge of careless driving. Anyone else would have been warned for dangerous driving.

"I have had clients who have been charged with assaulting a police officer for less than this. The issue of how long the police officer was out of action for is also important. He was away from work for 14 weeks, and that would normally be very significant in a case like this."


Leave it to Greg Mitchell to cover important stories like this over at E&P.
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