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Doctor charged in one road-rage case, linked to another

A California physician alleged to have braked suddenly in front of two cyclists has been charged with four felony counts and could face more than seven years in prison if convicted, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Christopher Thomas Thompson, 59, was charged Friday with two felony counts each of reckless driving causing injury and battery with serious bodily injury in connection with a July 4 incident that sent one cyclist flying through his car’s rear window and the other to the asphalt.

The cyclists, Ron Peterson and Christian Stoehr, alleged that Thompson deliberately bit the brakes in front of them after they exchanged words while descending Mandeville Canyon Road.

Peterson, 40, suffered broken teeth, a broken nose and serious cuts on his face that required 90 stitches to close. Stoehr, 29, had a shoulder separation that he said would require surgery.

Thompson has not spoken to the press about the crash. His lawyer, Peter Swarth, has called it “an unfortunate accident.”

But the Times report quotes a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman as saying that Thompson was involved in a similar encounter with cyclists on March 11, also on Mandeville Canyon Road.

According to LAPD Capt. William Eaton, another pair of cyclists riding on Mandeville Canyon Road accused Thompson of running them off the road and then shouting at them. The Los Angeles city attorney’s office declined to file charges, according to the Times.

Thompson, who is free on $30,000 bail, is to be arraigned Aug. 1 at the airport branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Times reported. If found guilty on all counts, he could face up to seven years and eight months in state prison.