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Ask Our Lawyer - March 2003

Q: What ever happened to the Sucker Shooter in Ft. Wayne???

A: Well, Biker Season in Ft.Wayne is over. Sucker-Shooter gets 4 years!!

You should have been there and if you were– you were proud. Just like a scene from a wedding– you know– where the bride's people are on one side and the groom's on the other. This time it was biker shootee-victim Bob Chapman and everybody in motorcycling on one side and the shooter on the other. There was a time when Bob stood alone– no longer. Bob's side was full. Everyone from motorcycling was there , Bailey's Harley Davidson had a representative, H.O.G. was present, Kim Dietz of ABATE was there, Bob's family was there, his friends, neighbors and co-workers were there. Cindy Pollet, the love of his life and the lady who refused to let Bob give up on this, was there. So was Jeff "Woody" Woods, the man who was quick enough to help stop the Niagra flow of Bob's blood from his back, and probably saved Bob's life, was there. Then there was the shooter's side– only one person – his girlfriend – remember the lady with the cell phone, was there.

The scene was emotional. Remember, but for the grace of God we would have already put dirt on Bob and he would be laying in some snow blown frozen piece of dirt in Allen County. Bob was crying, his daughters were crying, his family was distraught AND THEY HAD THEIR SAY. AND THE SHOOTER HAD HIS SAY. BUT WHAT CAN YOU SAY GOOD ABOUT A PERSON WHO NEARLY KILLS ANOTHER FOR NO GOOD REASON? The court did the job our legislators had in mind and promptly sentenced the Shooter to prison. Of course, if he is a good boy, he will be out in two years, and that sticks in my craw.

When he gets out of prison Bob and I will be waiting–with a Summons, a Complaint and Judgment– and we will pursue the Shooter till we collect every DAMN DIME of DAMAGES that is awarded to Bob for what he has been through.

I can not honestly say that I enjoy the fact that a fellow human being is going to prison, but I can honestly say that I feel our system of justice has been vindicated and that justice in this country works most of the time. Of course most of you know that "most" is a lawyer's hedge word and sometimes the right thing doesn't always happen. I prepared Bob for that, but, as it turns out, it was't necessary and I am most grateful for that.

Where would we be without ABATE and the wonderful things that it does to preserve our system of rights and justice? Sometimes, I wonder.


Congratulations to “General” Dan Waterfield for being recognized by ABATE of OHIO as a recipient of the Life Time Achievement AWARD. Being very modest, Dan will try to argue with you about his contributions to ABATE, but Dan we know better so save your breath. Dan was John “Farmer” Eggers’ wingman, and later Executive Director during the formative years of ABATE of OHIO. Speaking of “Farmer,” we wish to acknowledge Craig Ashbaugh as this years recipient of the JOHN “FARMER” EGGERS AWARD given by the MOTORCYCLE RIDERS FOUNDATION for contribution above and beyond the call of duty. There is no doubt in my mind that without members like Dan and Craig, the world of motorcyclists would be tough to live in. Some folks in OHIO have a saying “ BE ASHAMED TO DIE UNTIL YOU HAVE WON SOME VICTORY FOR HUMANITY.” As to us motorcyclists, Craig and Dan will never have to be ashamed.

If you have any questions you would like to ask the lawyer, please submit them to: ASK OUR LAWYER, P.O. Box 2850, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2850, or email to brianshadiow@abatelegal.com.