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Internet troll in Italy who responded to a Facebook post about which Ineos Grenadier rider Dani Martinez, who was punched by a driver who wrote “Take one cyclist to educate 100”, was acquitted by a judge who found no crime committed.

Marco Cavorso, safety manager of Italy’s professional cyclists’ union ACCPI, described the decision as a “slap in the face” for cyclists in a statement released by the organization, saying it shows that “inciting violence against cyclists is unacceptable. crime.”

It was Cavoroso, whose 13-year-old son Tomasso was killed by a driver while out on his bike, who reported the social media post to authorities following the March 2018 incident in Tuscany, left by then-EF Education First rider Martinez. . hospital after the driver punched a Colombian man who had argued with him over a close pass.

A social media commentator was investigated for incitement to a crime aggravated by transmission by electronic means, but the Pistoia court acquitted the defendant after a Pistoia judge ruled that the facts of the case did not constitute a crime.

Reacting to the verdict, Cavorso said: “The outcome of the hearing against one of the many people who ride bicycles is another slap in the face for us, but it will not stop us. we owe it to my son Tommaso and everyone else. the boys and girls who will stay young forever.”

ACCPI is currently campaigning for a safe crossing distance of 1.5 meters in Italy, and while Cavorso admitted that it “will not be a panacea, given how deeply rooted verbal and physical violence is in our society, it is “a first step would be to recognize that vulnerable road users have a right to their vital space.”

In a statement on its website, the ACCPI highlighted the death toll on Italy’s roads, saying that “every day, children and adults, men and women, students and workers, rich and poor, champions and ordinary people continue to die without any distinction. them, because road violence shows no signs of stopping and verbal abuse against vulnerable road users is considered acceptable instead of being punished.”

The final sentencing in the case will take 90 days, with both Cavorso and ACCPI having 135 days to appeal the ruling, which they intend to do.

The professional cyclists’ organization also stressed that the court case comes as the driver of the truck who fled the scene of the Nov. 30 crash that killed recently retired cyclist David Rebelin is still at large.

> The truck driver who killed David Rebellin got out of the cab, looked at the dead cyclist, then drove away

Prosecutors in Vicenza are still awaiting a European arrest warrant for the driver, Wolfgang Rieke, who returned to his home country of Germany shortly after the fatal crash.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the delay in the issuance of the arrest warrant, as well as the delay in Rebellin’s autopsy, for example to rule out the possibility that he fell ill shortly before the fatal accident, should be avoided at all costs. an irregularity in the process that can later be seized by the defense.

The newspaper added that the autopsy will take place in Vicenza next Monday, December 19, and the funeral will take place on Wednesday 21 or, more likely, Thursday, December 22.

“You can kill a cyclist, flee abroad in your truck and carry on with life as if nothing happened,” ACCPI says, “while the person you killed is still awaiting an autopsy and their devastated family has yet to arrange their funeral. the life: the funeral.”

Claiming that Italy’s roads “continue to be a minefield for cyclists”, the ACCPI is inviting people to take part in an initiative this Sunday which highlights the danger of people on bikes on the roads.

“In memory of David Rebellin and to continue to ask for respect and safety for cyclists, we invite everyone to ride with a black armband that day and post messages on social media using the hashtag #unmetroemezzodivita and tagging @accpi,” the message said. Christian Salvato, president of the organization.

“We will share your messages with love, because we must respond to death and violence with all our will to live, with the joy of pedaling and the respect that every human life deserves, even those who hurt us and do not realize that when they are behind the wheel they look like they have a loaded gun in their hands,” he added.


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