Punched in the nose by bikers

Remember a while ago how I told you that a fellow here in Ypsi had begun living in a tree in order to keep it from being chopped down? Well, he’s apparently come down… It’s being reported at AnnArbor.com that Bill Riney was punched in the nose today by bikers… According to the report, the incident took place this afternoon at the intersection of Forest and River, when Riney attempted to maneuver his vehicle through a procession of motorcycles en-route to Highland Cemetery “to memorialize fallen bikers.” One of said bikers, apparently reached through his window, and punched him in the face, as he tried to make his way around their blockade.

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50 Comments

  1. Posted September 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    And, hopefully, between this post and the one before it, you can start to get some kind of appreciation for what it’s like to live in Ypsi. On one hand, it’s this quaint small town in which young and old alike share a laugh over an egg toss, and, on the other, it’s getting hit in the face by bikers.

  2. Posted September 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    And, when I heard that Riney was hit in the face by bikers, it didn’t even occur to me that it might have been motorcycle riders doling out the violence. I immediately though of the Bike Ypsi crew, and assumed that it was one of them. (My guess was Thomas Kula.)

  3. Dan
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    The Bikers were probably from the township

  4. Burt Reynolds
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    He was being an idiot by interfering with a memorial ride. He deserved to be punched in every sense of the word.

  5. Billy
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I gotta say, he kind of deserved it. You don’t try to squeeze your car through something like that…

  6. Kim
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    It wasn’t as funeral procession. It was a “memorial ride.” I take it there’s a difference.

    And who gave bikers the right to block intersections? Could I do that?

  7. BrianR
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    What actually happened was the procession was travelling east on Forest and was turning north on River to head to the cemetery. The bikers have this procession twice a year as one of their riders is buried there.

    There was no westbound traffic on Forest for the most part until Riney and a minivan that was following him came to the light. The bikers were trying to hold traffic to allow the entire group to turn when Riney started to creep through the light. Riney wouldn’t stop and it appeared as if he bumped one of the bikers. Expletives were exchanged and then punches began to fly.

    Riney was totally in the wrong. What he did was like trying to drive through a funeral procession. Everyone would be appalled at that kind of behavoir. Riney should be ashamed of himself.

    The worst part was perhaps when Riney tried to turn his van and wagon around in the street and drove though both the yards of the people on the north and south sides of Forest. He hit a street sign and took a chuck out of one of the neighbor’s yards. Condiments were flying everywhere.

    When Riney came back to pick up his fallen ketchup and mustard I asked him if was going to come back and fix the yard. He said he owned a landscaping company and would be back to take care of it. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  8. Steven
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Most funeral processions are marked as such. And they happen once.

    Is it a funeral procession every time my relatives and I take our cars up to our grandparents’ plot?

  9. Kim
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Interesting side-note… According to the article, several of the bikers were carrying sidearms (legally).

    It looks like Riney got lucky.

  10. Jules
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’m with Steve. What gives the bikers this right? And BrianR, it wasn’t a funeral procession (and even those are a stupid anachronism), it was a memorial. Bill probably should have just waited, but I would have been pretty pissed off if I were made to wait for something like this. Especially since I don’t feel like being forced to honor some fucking biker, having been assaulted and left with two broken front teeth by a “biker,” some 30 years ago. Who the hell are they to demand respect from anyone? They’re just another citizen, as far as I’m concerned. Do they need a permit for this and did they have it? Or do they just get to pull this kind of crap because they’re “bikers”. Give me a fucking break. Fuck those assholes for forcing people to participate in their maudlin bullshit. And yeah, I fucking hate bikers.
    So I might be a little biased. Ha. So sue me.

  11. Burt Reynolds
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    @ Jules and Steve

    Its of course not a law, but it is something that occurs. Its about respect. The respect should be given to the bikers as this was a memorial ride. While Riney did not have to respect it legally, he should have morally. Like I said, he deserved it.

  12. BrianR
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    There were about a dozen bikers left to go through the light when Riney showed up. Don’t make this out like Bill couldn’t have waited those extra 20 seconds.

    And I really don’t think this is the kind of behavoir the President expects out of his hot dog man.

  13. Larry Seven Larry
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe that we’re having this conversation. If any other group had stopped traffic and assaulted someone for simply obeying traffic laws, people would be up in arms. Imagine for a moment that the City Chickens group had done this. But since people don’t like Riney or his politics, they say that he should have paid homage to some asshole bikers. This is ridiculous. Sure, Riney wasn’t smart, but to have a City Council member pipe up here to basically say that he got what he deserved is despicable.

  14. kjc
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    bill isn’t coming off very well in this story. the only people coming off worse are the asshole who punched him and the people defending that. yuck.

  15. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I’m a little surprised he couldn’t identify who punched him.

  16. Jules
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Hey, BrianR. Why dance around it? Stop being a weasel about it. You think Bill Riney DESERVED to be assaulted by a group of bikers who were running a red light. End of story.

  17. Langston
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    He couldn’t identify the one who hit him because the one who hit him, knowing the police would be called, didn’t go on to the cemetery.

  18. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I guess this fits right into the general lack of decency we all seem to be suffering these days. It was extremely bad form for Bill to try and interupt their memorial ride. It was overkill for the biker to punch him. It is good form to recognise funeral, memorials etc. Plain and simple, period. One might ask Jules (and others making this out to be “political”, sigh) if it was her/their child, mother husband being memorialized, how then would she feel?
    Grow up and effing worry about real problems.

  19. BrianR
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I was actually there. I saw what happened. I even called and spoke with the police. The bikers didn’t run a light. It wasn’t even Highland Cemetery.

    When I spoke to police I said that it appeared that Riney hit one of the bikers with his van. That’s what I said before. Of course he didn’t deserve to be punched, but I don’t think my friend deserved to have Bill tear up her yard either.

    It could have all been avoided. That’s all.

  20. watching laughing
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    West bound traffic has the right away by law with the green light.
    Nobody has the right to throw a punch, assault and battery.
    You can’t rewrite improptu laws as you see it.

    Watching Laughing.

  21. Burt Reynolds
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure no one said it wasn’t a crime to punch someone. Some crimes are worth it though…

  22. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    watching laughing:
    Duh…

  23. watching sighing
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Watching Laughing, it’s “right of way” not “right away.”

    watching sighing

  24. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    And I really don’t think this is the kind of behavoir the President expects out of his hot dog man.

    I think we can all agree that this is pretty damn funny.

  25. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Who was the guy they were memorializing? Do they do that for all their fallen friends or was he more important somehow, out of curiosity?

  26. Please Don't Hit Me
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    In hopes that this never happens to me, can someone please tell me how in the hell I’m supposed to know if a bunch of bikers is headed to a cemetery?

  27. Keffer
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Do we know for certain that this wasn’t a contract-punching bankrolled by one of Riney’s political adversaries?

  28. Alekz
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    If he really did hit one of them with his van, they actually could have legally shot him in self defense and made a pretty good case for it; a larger vehicle being a deadly weapon to a motorcyclist. No joke.

  29. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    This is silly. But, that said, it was a rude move on Riney’s part. If he bumped the dude with his van, he threw the first “punch”. How would you feel if a memorial for your friend/family member was interupted. The fact that it was a ride as oppose to a church service or a road side vigil doesn’t make it any less of a memorial.

    Bikers are a popular target among motorists who pay no attention to where they are driving (read: most drivers) Most motorcycle accidents occur because the other guy didn’t see the biker, so “blocking” an intersection on an organized ride is not an uncommon practice. Most of these groups have a safety officer to make the decision on how to get the group through an intersection safely and together.

  30. Keffer
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Is there perhaps a rogue band of vigilantes on the loose who don’t appreciate Riney’s politicization of wieners?

  31. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Alekz, I seriously doubt a local jury would believe that the hippy hotdog guy edging his van slowly into the intersection posed a credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to a bunch of bikers, even if he did hit one of them.

  32. Oliva
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Will be interesting to hear all sides of the story, if we ever get that opportunity. Not that everybody’s version will ever line up necessarily.

    From the perspective of neuroscience, eyewitness testimony is an extremely unreliable type of evidence.
    –Jonah Lehrer, http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2007/05/unreliable_eyewitness_testimon.php

    As far back as the late 1800s, experts have known that eyewitness identification is all-too-susceptible to error, and that scientific study should guide reforms for identification procedures. In 1907, Hugo Munsterberg published “On the Witness Stand,” in which he questioned the reliability of eyewitness identification. When Yale law professor Edwin Borchard studied 65 wrongful convictions for his pioneering 1932 book, “Convicting the Innocent,” he found that eyewitness misidentification was the leading cause of wrongful convictions.

    Since then, hundreds of scientific studies (particularly in the last three decades) have affirmed that eyewitness identification is often inaccurate — and that it can be made more accurate by implementing specific identification reforms.
    –http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/Eyewitness-Misidentification.php

  33. Jules
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey Wetdolphin, please show me where I made anything out to be “political”. And as you felt compelled to comment on this post, perhaps you should include yourself in your command to others commenting to “grow up and effing worry about real problems”. As to one of my own being memorialized and how I would feel, I think such things are private and I don’t feel the need to make showy displays that others have to pay heed of. For the record, I think Bill Riney should have just waited, avoiding any kind of conflict with the bikers. But I don’t think they had a right to assault him. Period.
    Andy, can anyone put together a group and take it upon themselves to block off access to public roads because they want to? I’m serious, I’d really like to know, so I can be prepared and not get slugged in the face for violating their takeover of the public roads.

  34. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Jules, you are right, you were not political, others were. Your first post was just hateful. While one would respect your private grief, it is CIVIL to respect another’s public grief. And it sounds like it was an assault by Riney first.

  35. dan
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    What’s important here is that somebody was acting like an asshole in a way probably none of us would, he got popped for it, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it but bitch.

  36. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Jules,
    I don’t think that what we’re talking about constitutes a take over of public roads. What we’re talking about is no more of a hassle to other drivers than some one sitting at the light doing their make up or talking on a cell phone and not moving when the light turns green. While it may not be a law, you are going to find very few police that will argue with these kind of actions, given the accident statistics invloving motorcycle – car accidents. And again, if Reiney hit the guy with his van, that would be assault with a motor vehichle/deadly weapon. Any citizen has the right to defend them selves, though I will say this was probably more of a case of the being angry some one was being such a jack ass and THEN hit him with his car. And while you may feel that memorials are best held in private, many “bikers”, both the outlaw and the rolex set and everywhre inbetween, feel that a ride in honor of a fallen friend is the best way to honor their memory. If riding was this guy’s passion, then isn’t riding a fitting way to honor his memory?

  37. Curt Waugh
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Larry Seven Larry wrote:
    “I can’t believe that we’re having this conversation. If any other group had stopped traffic and assaulted someone for simply obeying traffic laws, people would be up in arms.”

    Boy, I’m sure glad you let your mouth run ahead of your brain here. I wasn’t even going to comment on this thread (since I dig the hot dogs and all). But this is too timely.

    Just this past Saturday morning, my neighborhood was blessed with the presence of the EMU marching band drumming up support for themselves and our wonderful Eagles ahead of the game by marching through the streets and playing some tunes. It was one of those moments where, with vivid clarity, I realize why I never want to leave. A college-level marching band just waltzing through my neighborhood. How cool is that? I know of no one anywhere else who is so blessed.

    Now, those good people probably had no permit. They certainly blocked one intersection after another as they marched around. In fact, there was zero function difference to traffic between what I describe here and what I believe that biker group did. But I must say, my good man, if anybody had tried to ease their car through this wonderful band of merry-makers, I would have had a ticket at the front of the line to punch the dickwad in the face.

    We accept this minor inconveniences because we are neighborly. We live in neighborhoods. We’re not supposed to run to a lawyer or call the cops or drive through people’s yards because we’ve been inconvenienced for two minutes. Yet, for two minutes of Hot Dog Bill Riney’s patience, here we stand – vitriol flying every which way, citizens drawing lines in the sand, parsing laws and flinging verbal feces at their little monkey friends.

    And Jules, what gives “these people” the right is that we are human beings and we able to withstand these little inconveniences for the greater good. I’m sorry for whatever personal thing happened to you. Perhaps if you had a more public outcry about your grief, you would feel better. We would support that because we are you neighbors.

  38. Oliva
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    A long time ago my mother noticed a woman in a Corvette park in a handicap spot, jump out of her car, and head into the post office. Feeling offended about it on behalf of the law, civility, other righteous-seeming forces, she glared at the woman and in so doing tripped over the handicap ramp and skinned her knee.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it was a matter of Bill R. being distracted after a stint making and giving out hot dogs and paying more attention to the green light than the procession, worrisome as that may be–as worrisome as people on cell phones sailing through red lights or turning left into oncoming traffic. It really could be it wasn’t disrespect or rudeness as much as carelessness, just as dangerous but not hostile.

  39. kjc
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    “But I must say, my good man, if anybody had tried to ease their car through this wonderful band of merry-makers, I would have had a ticket at the front of the line to punch the dickwad in the face.”

    how ’bout you just feel like punching the dickwad but don’t? like we all do every day when people suck around us and we don’t smack them for it. it’s probably fair to say that a lot of accidents are caused by someone driving like an asshole.

  40. Oliva
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Curt W., this is very sweet to read; my heart says, “Thank you!”

    A college-level marching band just waltzing through my neighborhood. How cool is that? I know of no one anywhere else who is so blessed.

  41. Oliva
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Not exactly related, but a good couple of lines (re. German election):

    “In successful countries, politics is always boring. It’s life that’s interesting.”
    –Andrew Sullivan, Daily Dish, http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/the-empire-of-boredom.html

    P.S. Let’s be more successful soon. (Moon-eyed wish at this time but probably worth nurturing.)

  42. Oliva
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    And kjc, not sweet per se but smart and very worthwhile:

    how ’bout you just feel like punching the dickwad but don’t? like we all do every day when people suck around us and we don’t smack them for it. it’s probably fair to say that a lot of accidents are caused by someone driving like an asshole.

  43. Dirtgrain
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    As Andy Ypsilanti said, it’s not uncommon for big herds of bikers to hold up traffic to see the whole group through the intersection. I don’t think it’s so much about fearing not being seen (for one or two bikes out on the road, this is a huge problem, but herds of bikes are damn easily seen, I think); it’s just that they want to keep the herd together (and see bellow about safety). Is that terrible? I don’t think so. You can say the west-bound traffic was inconvenienced, but what about cars who were stuck behind the herd heading east?

    I try to stay away from riding in big groups, as I find it’s not a great concept. Too often there are unskilled riders in the group, riders who don’t ride safely (or know how to), or riders who don’t follow group-riding protocol–and riding in groups tends to take a rider’s attention off of what a motorcyclist needs to pay attention to: group riders tend to have too much attention on the group. Here’s what can happen. We’re better off and safer letting them hold up traffic to get everyone through.

    Common sense: don’t force your way through a herd of bikers–it’s not worth the risk.

  44. Pa
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m new to town and this is a revelation to me. Are biker gangs allowed to commandeer other city resources as well? If it’s raining, and they don’t want to get wet, can they jump on, punch the driver in the nose, and take the bus?

  45. The Exterminator
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I drive constantly all day, and right-of-way fudges for the sake of safety, or politeness, or just being a knucklehead happen all the time. Sometimes the thing to do is not waste time being polite and just take your turn, sometimes the thing to do is hold your horses and let some idiot plow through.

    Just today, I was accidentally the idiot. I stopped at a sign, there was a schoolbus getting ready to go to my right (no stop sign — it wa stopped for kids); I waited, as was proper, for her to go, but she waved me across vigorously, so I obeyed as to not be the overly-polite idiot holding up the show. Just as I pulled out, I noticed another truck coming to my left (no stop sign), who by rights should have just plowed into me for being a not-looking-both-ways moron. Thank God she stopped and let me by, even though it was my bad! She had every right to punch me in the face.

    So yeah, common sense and turning the other cheek are often needed when navigating right-of-ways.

    (thanks, and sorry, whoever you were. D’oh!)

  46. Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    In his defense, the biker may have Riney to turn the other cheek.

  47. elviscostello
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of the recent article about the reformation of those charitable “ruffians”, the Iron Coffins Motorcycle Club. It was a positive story about our local biker club by annarbor.com, but I thought it was interesting that “Stormy”, the President, refused to give his name…

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/iron-coffin-club-reopens-in-ypsi/

  48. Carl Lumberg
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    basically, he was inserting himself into a situation to further his cause … this is nothing new!

    Riney piggybacks on the hard work of other events and organizations in town, or this case, a funeral, shows up and GIVES away food while the event/organization he is carpetbagging on loses sales in their attempt to raise funds.

    People love free stuff – we get it! But when Riney shows up and undercuts legit events and or fundraising efforts, many that take months or year to plan, how is this is good thing?

    This guys is the biggest jerk in the area – but because he is giving away free food, people like him – how short sighted is that?

  49. Carlito
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    As we recently learned in another thread, buying tea and cookies for the elderly is what makes someone a good community leader.

    Check it out.

    http://markmaynard.com/?p=8178

    Leadership, in the minds of some, is about being rich and giving away food.

  50. Chicago
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Sons of Ypsarchy

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