Sunday, August 09, 2009

Big Biker Brawl in Downtown Ogden City

Ogden City: "Outlaw bicyclist' outdoor hot spot?

By Curmudgeon

The Standard-Examiner this morning leads with a story about apparently drunk bicyclists creating a melee of sorts in downtown Ogden yesterday.

Obscenities, blocked traffic, scuffles, arrests. The whole nine yards:
Melee of cyclists / Ogden incident leads to four arrests
Lest the poor uninformed public draw the wrong conclusions about what happened, Mr. Mark Hasenyager, one of the bicyclists, explained to the Standard Examiner what the real lesson of the unfortunate melee was: "He said it was heartbreaking to see this all happen, but the bottom line, he said, is that Ogden is an outdoor hot spot."

Parody is dead.

Update 8/10/09 11:00 a.m. MT: Just received this from Standard-Examiner reporter Di Lewis:
I'm the reporter working on a follow-up story. I'd love to talk to commenters from either side about what CM is, what it's goals are, how effective it is, and what happened that night.
I can be reached at 801 625 4233 or
Needless to say, we're always happy to help out our friends at the Std-Ex whenever we can.


althepal said...

Hasenyager: "I don't think the police department as a whole was out of line, but this individual (the deputy) could have handled it in a different fashion. If it had been handled differently, without physical force, I wouldn't be talking about it right now. Maybe tickets could have been written."

Maybe a few of these idiots should have been hauled in for DUI.

Keisha said...

When the mayor of the city sets a bad example by publicly announcing it's okay to break the law, you can expect others to take him up on that. Expect more acts of civil disobedience in Ogden City.

googlegirl said...

Critical Mass - Wikipedia

Rafiki said...

Too bad I missed this - sounds exciting.

Jason The said...

I was standing on the corner waiting to cross over to the Raptor's game Friday night when this all played out, and honestly, the officer coming down the 24th st overpass as the bikers crossed the intersection created more of hazard by confronting the bikers than the bikers themselves were causing. Then the officer cut through the intersection and sped to the lead of the biker "pack" (cutting off several cars to do so), pulled sideways to stop their progression (futher ensuring they blocked traffic in the intersection for a longer period of time) and began to make a public spectacle by yelling and drawing the attention of foot traffic.

Had the officer simply followed them to a better place for an interaction, or in fact let them ride by uninterupted, traffic would have been less effected than it was when the officer decided to become involved.

That said, it was entertaining to watch, regardless.

ozboy said...

A wild pack of drunken pot smokin hippies cruisin through town! I say arrest all the bastards, I am really ticked off that none of them were considerate enough to invite me!

Ted said...

I think this story goes to show how good the PR people for Ogden City are. I actually saw both incidents, and this story paints a false picture. I arrived late at the scene with the auto collision, so I didn't see how all that STARTED, but the "bumping" of the bike after I arrived was NOT incidental.. She revved her motor and lurched forward intending to strike the cyclist or at least scare him out of the way, but she struck him none-the-less. I agree that only police officers should ever block traffic in an intersection, and I was waiting at the red light at the second incident.. The motorist that "had to manuver the intersection" would have only had to wait a moment for the group to get through, as most of them arrived at a yellow light that was turning red, not like it had been red and then the traffic abruptly stopped, Instead the truck sped through the intersection nearly hitting the cyclists.. You would have some mean words and gestures for the driver of the green truck that just tried to run you down because he couldn't wait an extra 20 seconds before being able to go on through the intersection. And if you say you wouldn't you're a liar. I was closer than the arrested cyclist to the officer that was driving the white truck that took up more time blocking the intersection and I was even unsure of who he was yelling at to stop.. The one person that he seemed to be talking to actually stopped and got arrested for what? Running a red light? I thought that was just a ticket.. The officer exited the vehicle VERY Irate and confrontational from the 1st second.. It was unclear who he was yelling at to stop, and even if he did hear him it doesn't give him the right to tackle him off of the bike, it was completely wrong and over-the-top.. I think that the officers dash cams need to be reviewed by a neutral party and then the truth could be seen. The police involved in this incident where HOSTILE and treated the situation poorly.. I was trying to notify one officer that I actually saw the incident, I was an eye witness and could give an accurate description and he told me that I could be arrested for speaking to him loudly, which was the only way to get his attention, I wasn't yelling, I was just saying "EXCUSE ME SIR" loud enough for him to hear me, but he told me that I needed to "shut up" if I didn't want to go to jail.

Rafiki said...

And the people begin to fight back - even here in Ogden.

Power to the people!

Machster said...

I have seen the cops be completely reactionary and overzealous and been victimized myself. And I do not doubt for one second that the cop over reacted and handled the situation poorly.

Seems the gaggle of bicyclists should coordinate with the Ogden Police. And the bike patrol cops it would seem, should participate in the bicycle event to stress auto/bicycle safety. The whole thing well advertised in advance and publicized.

Seems like that's what responsible adults would do. But then who's an adult in all this? The Mayor is not and the trickle down effects are apparent it would seem.

Just my opinion.

Ted said...

I agree, I think that it would be a good idea to get them involved, they would see that for the most part the public was very positive on the whole thing, there were more people waving and asking why we were riding than there were people that were mad about having to wait a few extra seconds to get where they were going.

blackrulon said...

I am confused. The bike riders want people to respect their rights to be on the road. Their method is to disobey the rules of the road. If you are riding in the street the traffic laws also apply to you. I look out my kitchen window every day and see many cyclists cruise right through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop and checking for traffic. How does disobeying traffic laws help you gain respect?

Ted said...

You are confused indeed.
The ride is not that of lawless bikers getting drunk and disbeying the rules of the road. The ride is to gain awareness from the public so they understand that the bike riders are out there. For the most part the people that were in the group were obeying the rules of the road, which are not exactly the same as for cars as some people think. The point is that the story written in the Standard was a one-sided story taken from police reports written by police. Those of us that are choosing to write in are doing so to have our side of the story heard.

Curmudgeon said...


Yup. Too true. Mrs. Curmudgeon, yesterday, was on 24th Street and Harrison, waiting at a red light to turn right. Light turned green, and she waited a beat or two before starting, checking to the left on Harrison to make sure no one intended to run the light. As she started forward, she had to slam the brakes as an adult, on a bike, riding on the sidewalks shot from her left across 24th Street [against the light] and flipped her the bird after she slammed on the brakes and he passed in front of her.

I walk to work at WSU and back all the time, and I see a lot of bike riders [adults] biking to and from the place. I can't remember the last time I saw one actually stop at a stop sign.

Want to claim an equal right to the road with cars, fine with me. But with that comes equal responsibilities. And if some of the cyclists at the downtown incident were intoxicated as is alleged, seems to me breathalizers and DUI arrests would have been in order.

I know, Ted, there are crappy drivers out there too. But seems to me, too often, bike riders want a double standard applied to them: they want full rights to the road when that's convenient for them, and special suspension of the rules of the road when that's convenient.

As for the downtown incident, wasn't there, and so have nothing to base an opinion on other than the newspaper story. But, Ted, have to tell you this: when spokesmen for the bikers organization try to tell me that a monthly scheduled event is a "spontaneous" event, their credibility takes a hit. And when one of the riders starts talking about "gestapo tactics" on the part of the police [as one did on the SE comment board], it takes another hit.

Ted said...

I've seen some of the same things that you have in regards to people on bikes, and I can honestly say that in the past I've been known to be less than curtious to bikers driving in the road. I have only recently started riding a bike again and this was my first ride with the group. Knowing that it was my first time, and that I've not been on a bike for a number of years, I had more than one person give me a rundown of things to do and to not do before we started the treck, I stuck with those people and they were at no point running any signs or riding in any way that was discourtious.. but I'll tell you as an avid reader of WWII books and watcher of many war movies "gestapo" was the first thought that came to my mind as well, as we were being shouted at and told to "do as your told!".

Rafiki said...


Are they still meating at Skyline Cycle?

blackrulon said...

Teddy, the rules of the road apply to everyone at stop signs. It does not allow people to block an intersection and ignore red lights. You are required by law to obey to a police officers request to stop. Want respect? Obey the rules. Spend less time watching movies and more time studying the drivers handbook.

Ted said...

Alright, this is gonna be my last post.. Rafiki, I believe they are still meeting there.. but, like I said, I was new to the whole thing and I can't be positive.
Blackrulon, my name is Ted, not Teddy. I'm not arguing that the rules of the road are the rules of the road, I'm not even arguing that SOME of the people in the LARGE GROUP of people may have broken the rules, I can only speak for myself. When riding a bike they laws aren't exactly the same as driving a car so I would recommend anyone that decides to pick up biking visit the following website Utah Bike Law Summary
The point of all of my posts was not to say that nobody did anything wrong and they got arrested for no reason, the point that I was making is that the Standard Examiner report was completely bias and the law enforcement officers (some, not all) on the scene did not act as a public servant should. The thing that made me the most angry was the fact that I was an eye witness and when I tried to give my statement to an officer I was told to "shut up" or I would go to jail. This horse has been beat to death and if you don't understand by now what I am trying to get across, you're just not going to.

Curmudgeon said...


Leaving bike riders out of it, you raised another question when you wrote: "The thing that made me the most angry was the fact that I was an eye witness and when I tried to give my statement to an officer I was told to "shut up" or I would go to jail."

Ted, consider this: a handful of policemen. Situation getting potentially volatile. Policeman making an arrest, meaning he has already decided who has broken the law sufficiently to justify an arrest. He's not seeking information, or other opinions or additional statements anymore. He's decided, rightly or wrongly, who should be arrested. At that point, Ted, raising your voice when he's trying to control the person he's arresting, amid others presumed to be unhappy with what's happening, insisting that he listen to your dissenting opinion was not wise. He's got his hands full. If he were still trying to sort things out, that would be another matter. But he'd already decided, apparently, who was at fault. From his point of view, at that moment, your insisting on being heard constituted interference.

Thing to do under those circumstances is make sure the friends of the persons arrested have your name and phone number so you can be a witness for the defense. I know you were hoping to straighten things out and prevent an injustice. But once he'd decided to make an arrest, there was zero chance of your doing that in the street. From the circumstances you describe, trying to get the officer's attention with a dissenting opinion at that moment was unwise.

Hope you'll stand up if the matter goes to court.

George K said...

Ted stated that most of the bikers arrived at the intersection on a yellow light, therefore, they should have stopped before entering the intersection. By not doing so, they broke the law and created a dangerous situation. They were aware that it would take time for 30 to 50 bikers to move through that intersection and that they would be blocking it. In Layton, motorists are ticketed if they block an intersection. I can understand the police officer's actions -- being the minority (one among 30 - 50 bikers who had been drinking). He had to maintain control of the situation which would not be an easy task when dealing with a group who had been drinking.

There are always two sides to every situation. As we have read, the bikers' point of view is that it was the officer who over-reacted and caused the hazardous situation. I disagree because the bikers should never have entered the intersection on a yellow light. The police officer was only doing his job!

George K said...

Keisha mentioned that the Mayor had broken the law, so why should others respect and obey the laws. I would like to post on the subject of the Mayor breaking the law.

Bill C. in an earlier post said, “The law is now on the books, codified, an ordinance is a law. If the mayor violates this law it makes him a law breaker and he's sworn to uphold the law. This would not be a civil matter at that point, and the new County Attorney or State AG would be forced to prosecute. Any constitutional arguments would not arise until after the initial judgment, on appeal."

I see it as Bill C. does. There is an Ogden code that states that if ANY elected official breaks a law, he can no longer serve in that position. By that ordinance, Godfrey would no longer be mayor.

I used to have that ordinance on my old computer. I will try to find it again.

With his willful breaking of the law and his misappropriations of funds at the 36th St. water tanks, he may go to jail. (Possible wishful thinking on that.) I hope the new Weber County DA isn't a wuss like DeCaria.

BTW, Tuesday night, August 18th after Council meeting, the Council will hold a work meeting with the Planning Commission. My guess they will be discussing the 36th St. water tanks. At the PC’s meeting last Wednesday, they decided that the water tanks meet the General Plan requirements, but they are leaving the size of the water tanks up to the Council. Then on Thursday, August 20th, during their work meeting, the Council will take public input regarding the water tanks at the top of 36th St. Everyone who is concerned about preserving the trail system, and open space should attend this work meeting.

“Open space” was an agenda item last Friday at Godfrey’s MARM meeting. He is making plans to get his hands on the land surrounding the golf course that doesn’t belong to the City for the 350 condos and hotels he has planned. (Godfrey has turned into a real estate developer. Did you know that he is a business partner in Ramuda, the company that tried to buy Ben Lomond Golf Course and turn it into a housing development?)

I wonder what the Council plans to do about Godfrey misappropriating the funds for the 46th St. water tanks and using them for the 36th water tanks? Good Citizens of Ogden, you need to let the Council know how you feel about this matter. I, for one, think it is time the Council put an end to Godfrey's devious and questionable way of doing business.

It is clear that he has broken the law twice within a few months -- first when he misappropriated funds and used them elsewhere. What makes it so disgusting is that he has taken the bond money that was to go to fix the water pressure problems in Shadow Valley and is using it to do the infrastructure work for the golf course, condos and hotels at the top of 36th St. The taxpayers of Ogden are paying for that infrastructure instead of a contractor! Secondly, when he refused to acknowledge the ordinance the Council adopted TWICE regarding the budget. It is he who acted illegally when he vetoed the policy, not the appropriations, of the budget as directed by State law. He doesn't have a leg to stand on in a court of law!

It would be better if this situation could be handled out of court, but that doesn't seem like a possibility because during his nine and a half years as Mayor, Godfrey has NEVER admitted making a mistake or that he was wrong. As a student of human nature, I am inclined to think that he would not concede to the Council (who is right).

If State law allowed impeaching a mayor, he should be impeached, but since it doesn't, then there should be such an indignant outcry from the citizens that the DA would be impelled to look into the matter.

Curmudgeon said...


Just two points. First, you wrote: "It is he who acted illegally when he vetoed the policy, not the appropriations, of the budget as directed by State law."

This is a disagreement over interpreting the state law on the matter, which law [having been produced by the usual motley collection of real estate developers, tin-foil-hat wearing Right Wing nuts, glad-handing perk-takers and those just barely intelligent enough to walk around without a leash that makes up most Republican legislative majorities in Utah] is not exactly clear. Such disagreements between governing bodies [Mayor/executive vs Council/legislative] are usually settled either in court or with clarifying legislation. Nobody goes to jail. Nobody should.

And in re: the MWC pool matter, Hizzonah has not yet violated the Council's ordinance. The matter is more or less moot until 1 January when the money the Mayor wanted appropriated as a subsidy to the new managers of the MWC runs out. If he refuses then to spend the money the Council provided beyond 1 January to keep the pool open, he'll be in violation of the budget ordinance. But not until them.

Di Lewis said...

I'm the reporter working on a follow-up story. I'd love to talk to commenters from either side about what CM is, what it's goals are, how effective it is, and what happened that night.

I can be reached at 801 625 4233 or

George K said...

You wrote: Point 1: “This is a disagreement over interpreting the state law on the matter,” and then you went on a rant from your soap box about Republicans. Let’s keep to the issue and not bring political parties into the discussion. You are confusing State Code 10-3b-204 with State Code 10-3b-202 which tries to define what is meant by “separation of power” in a council-mayor form of government. There is no difference of opinion concerning what can/cannot be vetoed by a mayor.

It seems that you didn’t comprehend my post: “It is he who acted illegally when he vetoed the policy, not the appropriations, of the budget as directed by State law.”
State Code 10-3b-204. (2) (a), reads “The mayor in a municipality operating under a council-mayor form of municipal government may veto an ordinance or tax levy or all or any part of an appropriation passed by the council.” The Code doesn’t give him permission to veto policy, only the appropriation! Do you understand Godfrey didn't veto the ordinance or part of an appropriation, he kept the appropriation and vetoed the policy! So his veto isn’t legal.
I never said that Godfrey should go to jail for his line-item veto. But he is guilty of malfeasance in the matter of misappropriating funds from one project to another. Do you disagree with that assessment of the situation? If you do, let’s hope you never are elected to a public office! And you lose your credibility.

Have you read the contract between the City and OWCAP. I thought not or you wouldn't make such a statement.

spud said...

I recall Mr. Trentleman (sp?) did an article a while back in the Standard featuring a Critical Mass in Ogden (I think it was Charles, anyway). If I recall correctly, the photo in the paper showed a couple of cyclists holding on to cars passing by as they rode. These kids don't care about the rule of the road or law. Whatever backlash they get they deserve. They need to grow up and stop giving other cyclists a bad name.

Paco said...

Elderly woman slammed hard by police at Walmart

Typical in a police state like Ogden.

Joy Stick said...

I can't believe you Anti-Ogden naysayers found a way to work Mayor Godfrey into this discussion.

But since you did, here is a take on Godfrey:
He is not a drunk riding a bike with a bunch of stoners, screaming obscenities, and acting threatening towards law enforcement.

He is a small-framed and politically-scared mouse of a man with Napoleonic syndrome, who is making off with millions of hidden developer money, if only he can get the homes built with a gondola-connected hotel right below Petersen's Folly.

Completely different, you know.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: "There is no difference of opinion concerning what can/cannot be vetoed by a mayor." Sorry, GK, but there is a difference of opinion about that. Hizonnah claims "or any part of an appropriation passed by the council" means he can veto the language describing what the money must be spent on. His attorneys, he tells us, concur. The Council's view is it does not mean that, that his veto power applies to the appropriation per se. I think the Mayor's view is wrong and the Council's is right. [Councilman Stephenson says he thinks it's about a 50/50 call.] This is, then, as I said, a disagreement about the meaning of the statute as it regards distribution of powers between the exec. branch and the legislative branch in city government. Such disagreements, once again, are normally settled either by a court or by the legislature passing clarifying legislation. None of what you replied changes any of that.

On the water tanks: I didn't comment at all on that. Looks fishy to me, but it's working its way up to the Council [after the Mayor was told by he could not simply do it by fiat]. Planning commission has passed it on. The Council's action will pretty much resolve the matter: if the Council approves the shift, the matter is pretty much moot, seems to me. If it does not, then there may be more legal questions to be pursued. We'll have to see.

As for comments on the Republicans of the Utah Legislature... aw, hell GK. I have to have some fun talking about all this dry stuff about municipal codes and such like. .

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