- Doug Lamb struck 10-year-old Julian Moore last fall and was ordered by a court to write the boy an apology letter.
- After Lamb’s letter appeared to blame Moore for the crash, a new hearing was scheduled to see if Lamb made a good-faith effort to meet his obligations.
- That hearing was quietly removed from the docket in February. The DA has until June to reopen the case.
The driver who struck a 10-year-old cyclist last fall and then wrote a sarcastic, victim-blaming apology letter may walk away from the case facing no consequences.
Julian Moore was riding his mountain bike on a residential street in Pittsford, New York, in September when Doug Lamb, 66, struck him with a friend’s borrowed Range Rover while trying to pass on the left. Though he initially stayed at the scene, Lamb left without speaking to Moore or his mother and was gone by the time investigators arrived 20 minutes later.
Police tracked down Lamb, who was charged with a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of a crash causing personal injury. Pittsford Town Justice John Bernacki gave him an easy way to make amends: Instead of fines or community service, Lamb’s punishment would be to write Moore a letter of apology.
Three months later, the letter arrived.
“Dear Julian,” it read. “I’m very sorry that you rode into the side of the car I was driving on Friday, September 7th. More importantly, I am glad you didn’t need to be treated by the attending ambulance on the day of the incident.”
The Moore family was outraged, as were readers nationwide as the story made its way into headlines last month, getting picked up by local media and the cycling press as well as national outlets like BuzzFeed. A new hearing was quickly scheduled for February 14 to determine if Lamb made a good-faith effort to abide by his court-ordered punishment. Since Lamb was reportedly vacationing in Florida at the time, that hearing was postponed.
As media attention waned, however, the hearing was quietly removed from the docket altogether. Lamb is tentatively scheduled to appear on March 28, court employee Kristine Sanborn said, but it’s up to the district attorney’s office to reopen the case. If it fails to do so, no hearings will take place, and the charges will be officially dismissed on June 28.
Julian’s mother, Jennifer Moore, worries that Lamb won’t face any real punishment for hitting her son with the Range Rover.
“I had a conversation with [Assistant District Attorney Ann Chase] when she called to let me know it had been postponed without a date,” Moore said. During the phone call, she said, Chase asked if another apology letter would suffice to bring the case to a close.
“I actually got mad at that suggestion,” Moore said. The family had originally asked for Lamb to get community service, but Lamb refused. The judge agreed with Lamb, citing his age and health, despite Lamb having played a round of golf just before the collision with Julian. The Moores said they doubt a second letter would be sincere.
Neither Chase nor Lamb’s attorney, Joe Curran, returned multiple requests for comment.
Bike Law’s Rachael Maney, who is serving as an advocate for the Moore family, said that the Pittsford District Attorney’s office has never been interested in handing down a stricter punishment to Lamb.
“All three previous times the case was heard in court, Jennifer wasn’t notified,” Maney said. Now that media attention has died down, she argued, the case is no longer a priority for the DA.