Wednesday, April 23, 2008

snowdog exposed: a killer in the making?

just last night, i wrote of a series of weird events that happened during the course of 7 hours in des moines. the incident that kicked it off was a run-in with a pudgy, shaggy-haired driver of a small pick-up with SNOWDOG vanity plates. he seemed hell-bent on scarring the shit out of us [curiously, it didn't really have that effect]. but despite his emphatic denial ["i didn't do anything! i didn't do anything!"], this reply would seem to indicate to the contrary:

Dear Kim--
I read with interest the recounting of the run-in April 23 between a group of cyclists and the driver of a pickup truck with SNOWDOG vanity plates. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that SNOWDOG has exhibited dangerous behavior.
Here are some examples from the running community. I fear that if we ask additional runners and cyclists, more incidents will surface.
All of these incidents have been in the neighborhood surrounding Westminster Presbyterian Church (Beaver and Franklin avenues). Many involve women. All are too scary.
Deb Bull, a long-time runner, had her first near-hit with SNOWDOG in January 2006 (not a typo). In 2008 alone, Deb has had two near-accidents with the same driver, who intentionally swerves toward runners. In one case she was running with Julie Howe. In another incident, Deb was running with Bill Brown. One of these near-hits occurred on March 8, which was reported to 911. Deb was encouraged to carry a cell phone so she could promptly call if this happened again.
After making a few calls to friends, it appears that SNOWDOG was probably involved with an attempted run-down of a group of women, including Ruth Jordal. The women in Ruth's group know it was a red pickup that aimed for them, but they didn't think to get a license plate. Yes, the same neighborhood, same behavior.
This is a rogue driver that we simply can't allow to imperil our residents--many of them my friends! Given the number of incidents, it would be most unfortunate if the city chooses to do nothing.
Does the city need more examples regarding SNOWDOG before taking action?
How will the city respond?
When will the city respond?
Please escalate this issue.
Carl Voss

. . . . .
hey, folks--any additional stories? i wonder how long it will take for the county attorney to investigate SNOWDOG? weather dude: can you guys sick an investigative crew after SNOWDOG? let's nail this s.o.b. before he nails YOU!


bryan said...

Rev, I think the guy you're looking for is Alex Lifeson of Rush. He was identified as 'Snow Dog' on the 1975 Rush release, Fly By Night. The album featured a song titled "By-Tor and the Snow Dog." Lifeson is pudgy and shaggy, just like the driver in question.

Curiously, By-Tor, Snow Dog's nemesis, is drummer Neal Peart. If you see a car with a 'By-Tor' plate, be on the lookout for Geddy Lee next.

But seriously, I hope the authorities actually do something about this guy (not Alex Lifeson, though, because he shreds). It's a shame that a dozen complaints don't get anything done. That's a pattern of reckless behavior, and it needs to be stopped.

the mostly reverend said...

i'm still laughing, frankly; very nice reference.

yeah, THIS snowdog sheds, not shreds. we are making progress on this weasel. read a newer blog post for details....

power to the bloggers!!

the mostly reverend said...

read the post below for the latest in snowdog news:

Anonymous said...

I've never in my life seen 'driving in a straight line' be considered 'swerving into joggers'. The runners in Beaverdale are just nuts. They stick to the middle of the road or just wander blindly into the street and expect drivers to swerve into oncomming traffic.

That's particularly stupid when you consider that there are plenty of sidewalks in the area. Start using them and there wouldn't be a problem.

"It's a shame that a dozen complaints don't get anything done."

That's simply because it's the runners who are breaking the law, not the drivers. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

By the way -- before the vitriol and accusations start flowing from my commment, no I'm not snowdog, but if he's the menace you've claimed him to be and you managed to find him, why didn't you hold him for the police? Apparently you managed to have a conversation with him, but why didn't you follow him to see where he was going?

What you're presenting, here, is the air of a vigilante mentality combined with a persecution complex. It just doesn't seem healthy.

the mostly reverend said...

while you may not be snowdog, you clearly are a kindred spirit, anonny. what kind of statement is this?

"That's particularly stupid when you consider that there are plenty of sidewalks in the area. Start using them and there wouldn't be a problem."

the runners in question are using a multi-use street in a residential area. speed limits are posted only as an upper absolute limit. motorists have NO right to go the limit at any and all times, and for you to declare someone as stupid for choosing to use a residential street other than how YOU deem proper shows that YOU are the problem, not the runners or the cyclists.

if you ever moved your [i'm guessing] fat ass other than from sofa to driver seat, then you'd realized that for folks who run for exercise and not to the bathroom or for more beer during commercials or time outs, you know that it is wiser and advisable to run in the streets.
if YOU have a problem with that, i suggest you make a stop at mercy franklin; there are wonderful therapists there who can help you relax.

and don't try to talk to me about what's healthy and what isn't, you silly fool. the cops won't help; they won't file charges, and all that happens is that we lose our workout, and mister lazy fat-ass driver gets a smile and a pat on the back from the cops who don't like messing with whiny cyclists. [their terms and beliefs, not mine]

thanks for sharing your insights. hope you stay away from beaverdale. said...

I am an attorney and bike advocate in Tucson, AZ who has been increasingly astonished about the frequency of assaults on bicyclists by motorists. We are all aware that we get targeted sometimes, but I am discovering that there are actually a large number of "Snowdogs" out there who are extremely dangerous. And I have had precious little luck getting the Tucson law enforcement authorities to go after these people _even when we have a license plate_.

This behavior is probably a good reason Tucson cannot improve its LAB "Bicycle Friendly Community" status.

Please let me know if this case gets resolved favorably. My blog is at

--Erik Ryberg

Anonymous said...

By-tor was Geddy, dude! It's the bass vs the guitar!

Lot's of morons out there...I hope this dude gets what's coming to him. When I was a runner in college and we'd almost get hit, our coach would call open seaon on the car if it got stuck at a light. I've done the same on a bike...caught a car at a stoplight and let the dude have it. Poetic, sometimes...and stupid...but it makes me feel better.