Urban Velo

Asheville Firefighter Charged With Shooting At Bicyclist

bilde Asheville, NC firefighter Charles Diez was recently charged with shooting and nearly killing a cyclist in an unbelievable altercation on the roadway. The bullet allegedly shot by Diez penetrated both sides of the cyclist’s helmet but entirely missed his head. Beyond the luck of the victim in coming away unscathed, the real story is the reason the entire argument began. According to the Citizen-Times, Diez confronted the cyclist because he felt it was unsafe for the cyclist to be riding with his child on the side of the road in the middle of the day.

Diez was driving his car off Interstate 40 at Exit 55 at about 11:24 a.m. Sunday when he saw Alan Ray Simons and his wife riding bikes up the road with Simons’ 3-year-old son behind him in a bike seat, he said.

“He decided he needed to tell them he thought it was unsafe that they would do that and have their child out there in an area where they had a lot of traffic,” Splain said.

Diez stopped his car and confronted Simons near 1360 Tunnel Road. When Simons began to walk away, Diez shot at him, Splain said.

The bullet blew a hole through the outer lining of Simons’ helmet and went straight through both sides of it, but he was not hit.


  1. SeanJuly 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    He certainly showed them JUST how dangerous crowded roadways can be. I mean there are f**kers out there driving around with guns!

  2. josieJuly 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Wow this makes me so angry i cant even come up with anything intelligent to say. Scared and very angry. I hope they throw the book at this creep.

  3. TroyHJuly 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    It is truely difficult coming up with something other than, toss the guy in prison. What if he hit the three year old. Way to up keep our safety you jackass, your supposed to protect teh public remember….your a firefighter!. I guess that community should look at the safety of their homes in the event of a fire also. Go Canada!!!! Why do people have guns in their cars again?

  4. KevinJuly 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Wow, like Josie said, this is leaving me speechless. I do hope that Diez serves the time he deserves!

  5. MshJuly 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    He is a great example of our public servant which needs to be remove from serving us. I would also like to know why he isn’t behind bars because he is obviously a public safety risk. Another interesting bit of information is that he is on paid leave. Who is protecting who here?

  6. LeaJuly 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    There are some stupid parents out there. You really should not be pulling a kid on a high traffic road, but clearly the shooter won the Dipshit of the Day Award.

  7. brianJuly 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    There was often a similar evil vibe when I used to bike around Atlanta, GA. All I can really say on the matter though is that after riding in the South extensively (especially commuter biking) I am no longer afraid of drivers in any city outside of the South.

  8. JohnSchottJuly 28, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Obviously this guy has lost touch with reality. It’s probably safe to say he could be out of touch with what’s a busy road and not.

  9. rodemybokeJuly 28, 2009 at 1:34 am

    I dont even know what to say, i live in charlotte and have never even thought of someone pulling a gun on me. I mean wtf, what honestly could make someone so mad to shoot at someone else riding a bike?
    Thought he was supposed to save people if he gets his job back i say we start a protest.
    (for any one that lives here any ways)

  10. LareyJuly 28, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Anyone consider he might simply be insane?

  11. TerryJuly 28, 2009 at 6:41 am

    That is why you get yourself a concealed carry permit and carry a gun with you when you ride–like I do.
    Anyone shoot at me when I have my kid with me will get shot back at.

  12. atuomaticslimJuly 28, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Writing from Georgia, I absolutely agree with comments about the unbelievable hostility of drivers to bikers. Plenty of days I feel like I’m taking my life into my hands commuting.

    I would have to say, though, that this is an incredibly busy road and not one I’d feel comfortable riding myself, much less with my kids. The idiot is by no means justified, but if I drove past and saw someone riding with a kid on Tunnel Rd, I’d wonder about *his* sanity. Common sense does have to enter into this at some point.

  13. criznellJuly 28, 2009 at 8:08 am

    If anything, cyclists should be shooting motorists in the head. Not the other way around. This really is some crazy shit.

  14. Bleeding Heart Pinko CommieJuly 28, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Another example of why guns should be outlawed. Here was a supposed “pillar of the community” and yet his inherent madness has slipped by any and all screening procedures. Only blind luck stopped this scumbag from murdering a man in front of his child. These are the people who open fire in restaurants and schools – “He was always so quiet. Such a nice guy.”

  15. LloydJuly 28, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Holy shit!

    I live in Asheville, how am I just finding out about this on Urbanvelo? We have a lot of idiots in cars that honk at you just for riding on the road here but we also have a ton of cyclists and seeing people traveling with their kids in tow is very common here. Too many riders stay on the sidewalk here and I think that gives drivers the wrong idea so they see those of us that claim our space in the road as being in the wrong. Scary shit

  16. Lazy Bike CommuterJuly 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Guns should in no way be outlawed. This just shows that cyclists should also have the means to protect themselves.

    If your biggest worry is that a driver will shoot you, then you are apparently forgetting the fact that if someone has it out for you, he also has a four thousand pound CAR with him, something that claims a heck of a lot more cyclists than guns ever will.

  17. dougJuly 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm


    Do you seriously believe more gun battles on our streets are a good thing?

    If the cyclist here had had a weapon himself, he would probably be dead. Maybe his kid, too. Gun battles tend to be very dangerous.

    Clearly, the problem is not too few concealed weapons. It’s actually too many concealed weapons in hands of people who obviously should not have them.

  18. Lazy Bike CommuterJuly 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Getting shot while defending yourself is actually not less deadly than getting shot while running away.

    There is no such thing as an escalation of violence when someone is ALREADY SHOOTING AT YOU.

    The problem is too few legally carried concealed weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

    @Bleeding Heart Pinko Commie:
    Maybe we should outlaw shooting people instead.

  19. Leftist AnarchistJuly 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    This guy should be pilloried, but given that he’s a firefighter he’ll likely get community service and a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.

    Perhaps if the cyclist had been armed too…

  20. TerryJuly 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Well doug, I hate to tell you this, but in every state that passed concealed carry laws crime went down.
    When they took the guns from people in Australia, crime skyrocketed. Why not, as the criminals figured no one had a gun to defend themselves.
    And like Lazy Bike Commuter already stated, the nutcase didn’t need a gun; he could have ran the biker down with his car.
    And as far as guns being dangerous, mine have never hurt anyone. They have saved my butt however. And here is a hint: if you ever have a big ugly guy intent on doing you harm coming at you, he might not stop if you aim a gun at his chest, but if you aim a gun at his balls, he goes away. Funny really how that works.

  21. Charles DiezJuly 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Firefighter’s address:

    deleted, Google it if you want it that bad.

    Note from Brad: In terms of your rights to obtain and disseminate the perpetrator’s home address, you have my full support. As the owner of this site I have the same rights and duties of free speech, and am choosing to not allow this facility to be used to start any sort of witch hunt or hate campaign against this person’s family. Just as we will not allow other hate speech, we have to draw the line somewhere on this. Call it censorship, but it ain’t a violation of the Constitution. This is not a public park.

    Otherwise, I appreciate your concern and passion over this event and am glad to have you contribute to the site and the discussion.

  22. AlexJuly 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Insane. Simple insanity. I just don’t get it when people feel that they have a right over other people’s lives. Scares the shit out of me to tell you the truth.

    What a dangerous moron.

  23. StanJuly 28, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Terry said “When they took the guns from people in Australia, crime skyrocketed”

    I’d like to see where you got that “fact” from.

    Australia’s largest gun club is Australian Sporting Shooters Association who claim that since the crackdown on gun ownership in Australia there has been NO change in the crime rate.

  24. rollingjayJuly 29, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Share the road! And always carry a gun. There are some really sweet german models. Very compact and light, fits right in your jersey pocket.

  25. GaryJuly 29, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I live, drive, and bike in Asheville, and have experienced my share of animosity from drivers. The problem, as with most random crime, is a lack of commonality or shared humanity. Too many drivers are incensed that a biker might slow them down for 5 seconds, and see a life-threatening response as justified. These are the same people who would swerve to hit an animal in the road. That’s just the standard road-rage driver.

    This guy is clearly unhinged and deserves a long prison sentence for attempted murder. Unfortunately what distinguished an argument from attempted murder in this case was carrying a gun. Don’t be fooled by the biased gun-law claims above. Carrying a gun does not make you safer. Check out http://www.guninformation.org/

  26. josieJuly 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Terry. I totally agree. I am a registered ccw, and an avid commuter. I started to carry after a few really scary incidents. Im not a gun nut but i believe that if someone is gonna try and kill me i have every right to try and stop them by any means necessary.

    Please people even if you don’t agree with guns some people are still gonna carry weapons and can potentially use them against you.

    CARRY SOME MACE, you wont regret it but you might regret it if you dont.

    This guy is in jail on 500,000 dollars bail right?

  27. Michael DavidsonJuly 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    See comment on Kristen Moore’s wall.

  28. TroyHJuly 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    It is unfortunate that this has come down to a discussion on gun laws….BUT…. I lived in Toronto for a few years and was on my big for 8 hours a day. Never was I held up by a gun or felt like I was in danger of being hit by a stray bullet. Guns simply don’t belong in the hands of parents riding down the street or guys in cars. The guy is off his rocker but perhaps it would have been a holler out the window instead of attempted murder. This jerk belongs in prison. Hopefully the residents of that city will take a stand for this case and set an example of this public servant. I sure hope he isn’t a parent?!

  29. TerryJuly 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Stan: After having 640,381 firearms destroyed by the Australian government, armed robberies were up 44% 12 months later. This information is from Keith Tidswell of Australia’s Sporting Shooters Association. I guess there must be disagreements amongst the group, eh?

    From an Australian publication:

    “…assault rose 49.2% and robbery 6.2%. Sexual assault–Australia’s equivalent term for rape–increased 29.9%. Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2%. At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8%: rape dropped 19.2%; robbery decreased 33.2%; aggravated assault dropped 32.2%. Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women (whom ABC reports are arming themselves at record rates because of safety concerns)…” (Crime rates for this information was compiled from Australian Bureau of Statistics).

    Note that while Australian crime was going up with less guns, U.S. crime was going down as more and more states allowed concealed carry and thus more guns.

    Some people are willing to take responsibility for the protection of themselves and their families. Some aren’t. I am.

  30. unixd0rkJuly 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    i get really annoyed by people who think that it’s logical to blame someone for something that hasn’t even happened (injured child), and better yet, blame them for something that statistically wouldn’t even be their fault at if it happened (drunken/stupid driver failing to operate their vehicle properly and slamming into the cyclist).

    ..oh so maybe i’ll shoot those people in the head who don’t understand cause and effect. (not)

  31. MiniBruceJuly 31, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Obviously Diaz was as out of line as humanly possible, has rage issues, or is insane – that’s well established. To hell with him.

    As far as guns go… The idea of everyone carrying guns certainly makes me uneasy – but there are certainly some statistics I can’t argue with. Take Switzerland for example – every able and of-age citizen is issued a high-quality assault rifle by the government – and gun deaths are next to nil there compared to the Americas. Now I’m sure there are a great deal of cultural factors at work there, too – but I imagine having the knowledge that every last person has a gun totally wipes out any perceived advantage of carrying one.

    What I’m really getting at is this – I don’t think guns themselves are the problem – now that there everywhere, it’s all about how we handle them – and the people that have access to them.

    Steeper laws to protect cyclists, I say.

  32. PaulAugust 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

    gun laws can either empower or depower the population, thus either lending or taking power from the governing body.
    I’m not a gun owner, but having a governing body take power from its subjects is scary.

    Also, remember that yes, putting guns in everyone’s hands immediately right now would be strange but we are talking about a change the way society views guns.

    Right now because of gun laws, a criminal who attained a gun can hold-up anyone who is not another criminal with a gun or a person with a visible weapon.
    Thus the criminal has more safety when pointing a gun at an innocent.
    If it was assumed that everyone carried guns, then a criminal would think twice before pointing a gun at you because you are many times more likely to point one right back at him.

  33. PJAugust 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    you know whats awesome? this moron just got released! Kevlar vests Asheville, Diez is out to protect you!

  34. RUSSELL RILESNovember 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    WHAT A SYSTEM,,,,,



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