As reported back in June, bicyclist Gergory Germani (age 50) was run down by a driver of a Dodge Nitro in the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta. He was hospitalized with brain trauma for several weeks and is now recovering in a private rehabilitation facility.
After a reported verbal altercation between the victim and the driver of the Dodge SUV, now reported to be Joseph Alan Lewis (age 19), the driver of the Dodge allegedly used his vehicle to run down Germani.
Surveillance video shows the Dodge Nitro following Mr. Germani on bicycle. After being hit by the SUV, Germanu suffered serious injuries to his head, neck, and body.
Unlike ordinary serious injury by vehicle cases, this is a case of malice aforethought and specific intent. The driver intentionally turned his vehicle around and ran down Mr. Germani, who was riding a bicycle.
As a result, Mr. Lewis will be charged with Aggravated Assault, a 20-year felony offense. This was not a traffic accident but an intentional act of violence with a vehicle. Defenses of “accident” or lack of impairment will not be available in this case because technically this is not a “driving related offense.” This offense is more akin to when someone uses a weapon to injure another. The deadly weapon in this case is an automobile.
Furthermore, Ms. Shanelle Woodard (22) has been charged with tampering evidence in the matter, likely in an effort to help Mr. Lewis avoid capture or to cover up evidence of the vehicle's involvement in the incident. She could be charged as a party to the crime of Aggravated Assault as an accessory after the fact.
If so, she could be prosecuted for the same Aggravated Assault and face the same potential punishment. Parties to a crime in Georgia (unlike in other states) can be convicted and punished as if they were the principal offender. See O.C.G.A 16-2-20.
This is a case of a senseless act of violence on our streets. Our office does not represent people who intentionally act in this kind of manner. However, if you have a traffic ticket in Atlanta, call Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyer Richard Lawson. We are Georgia traffic ticket lawyers that are here to help you when you are charged with misdemeanor traffic offenses in Georgia. Call now! We are here to help you every day, when you need us most.