Surry man gets 65 days for bicycle incident

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 12, 2011, at 6:25 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Surry man accused of violating his probation by driving dangerously close to and helping to assault a bicyclist in Orland was ordered Thursday to serve 65 days in jail.

Ricky Tyrala, 20, is on probation after having pleaded guilty in March in Hancock County Superior Court to burglary, theft, criminal trespass, and unlawful possession of drugs. Tyrala was convicted of stealing a DVD player, an ax, hip wader boots and a contractor’s drop light from a home in Mariaville and of trying to break into another on the same day in October 2009, according to court documents.

He was charged with unlawful possession of drugs on Feb. 9, 2010, when police found him with the muscle relaxant Flexeril, documents indicate.

After pleading guilty to the charges, Tyrala was sentenced to a total of 18 months behind bars with all but 30 days suspended.

On Thursday, Murray determined Tyrala was guilty of driving to endanger for his role in an incident in Orland on June 4.

Tyrala was at the wheel of a 1991 Nissan that day when the vehicle drove past a bicyclist on Toddy Pond Road. The cyclist later told police the car was only inches away when it sped past him at around 65 mph, forcing him off the pavement and into the soft shoulder of the road. As the car sped past, a passenger in Tyrala’s vehicle threw at and hit the bicyclist with a Styrofoam cup, according to police.

Hancock County Assistant District Attorney William Entwisle told Murray that the incident amounted to acts of driving to endanger and assault and that Tyrala should spend another 120 days behind bars. Tyrala knew his passenger was throwing trash out the window, Entwisle argued, and the act of driving close to the bicyclist was part of the assault with the cup.

Tyrala told the judge he did not know his passenger threw trash at the bicyclist and he denied driving close to him. He told the judge he plans to receive substance abuse counseling when he is released from jail and that he wants to enroll in the culinary arts program at Hancock County Technical Center.

Tyrala’s defense attorney, Steve Juskewitch of Ellsworth, argued that though the bicyclist might have been angered by the incident there was no evidence of any malicious intent on Tyrala’s part.

“Truth is in the eye of the beholder,” Juskewitch said.

Murrary determined that Tyrala was not guilty of assault but that he did violate his probation by driving to endanger when he sped past the bicyclist. Murray ordered Tyrala to spend 65 days behind bars, which he has already served since being re-arrested in early June.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/12/news/hancock/surry-man-gets-65-days-for-bicycle-incident/ printed on August 21, 2014