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Cyclist Testifies in Attack by Law Professor
By DAKARAI I. AARONS /
The Dallas Morning News
June 9, 2005
The cyclist who said he was run down by a Southern Methodist University law professor’s car testified Thursday that he faxed a copy of the police report to the law school the day after the incident.
"The dean of SMU's law school should know who he has working for him,” Tommy Thomas explained on the stand.
Jane Dolkart is accused of using her car to hit Mr. Thomas in May 2004 while he was biking with a friend at White Rock Lake on West Lawther Drive south of Mockingbird Lane. Mr. Thomas, a lawyer, suffered minor injuries as he was dragged under the car.
Ms. Dolkart is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, she could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In describing the incident, Mr. Thomas said he "got a hold of the bumper and the car is pushing me down the street."
After the car stopped, he got up and friend Paul Schoenberg said: “Oh my God! Are you all right?" Mr. Thomas testified.
And he replied, "No. She just ran over me."
On Wednesday, a police officer testified that Ms. Jane Dolkart told him she only intended to tap a bicyclist with her car the day she allegedly ran him down.
Officer Craig Bennight's said that Ms. Dolkart said Mr. Thomas had intentionally blocked her efforts to get around him.
He also testified that when he told Ms. Dolkart that Mr. Thomas was claiming she had intentionally hit him, "that kind of unleashed a torrent of anger" from her.
Officer Bennight said Ms. Dolkart told him that claim was absurd and that, "I only meant to tap him."
She was arrested shortly thereafter.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Mike Gibson questioned the thoroughness of the police investigation, noting that officers never went back to the scene with Ms. Dolkart.
They also did not hold her car as evidence, even though Officer Bennight said it was used as a deadly weapon. During opening arguments, Mr. Gibson said evidence would show that Ms. Dolkart accidentally hit Mr. Thomas and that the proper place for this matter is a civil court.
"Just because a car and bicycle collided on a road, it doesn't make it a crime," Mr. Gibson said.
Officer Bennight later testified that he and his partner spent time discussing the incident with both parties to determine whether the collision had been an accident or intentional.
"We both concurred there was no evidence it was an accident," he said. "Ms. Dolkart never said it was an accident."
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