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Heritage Foundation VP arrested for assaulting bicyclist

A VP of the nation's most powerful right wing think tank got out of his car and assaulted a young woman cyclist and took off. Bystanders tracked him down.
Ted E. Schelenski, of the Heritage Foundation, denied guilt.
Ted E. Schelenski, of the Heritage Foundation, denied guilt.

Convergence of Driver, Bicyclist Ends in Arrest

Bystanders Track Alleged Assailant

By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 2, 2005; B01

It began as a shouting match on a busy Capitol Hill street corner during the frenetic morning commute, a bike-vs.-car incident not uncommon in a big city.

But then the silver-haired, retired Navy lieutenant got out of his car, approached the red-headed ballet dancer riding a bike and allegedly shoved her to the ground, authorities said. He got back into his car and, as bystanders followed him, drove down the block to his nearby office, the bicyclist said.

The man was identified as Ted E. Schelenski, 64, vice president for finance and operations at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that promotes conservative policies. He pleaded not guilty this week to a charge of simple assault.

The bicyclist, Kristin Hall, 23, said the trouble began about 8:30 a.m. June 14. She was riding on the sidewalk, about to turn onto the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE, when a car stopped in front of her, blocking her path, she said. She stopped her bike and asked the man to move his silver Acura, she said.

But Schelenski wouldn't move, and the two yelled at one another, she said in an interview yesterday.

"It was some kind of road-rage nonsense," Hall said. "When he got out of the car, I told him: 'You're crazy! Get back in the car!' "

But Schelenski came at the 105-pound, communications assistant at the Academy for Educational Development and shoved her to the ground while she was still straddled on her bicycle, she said.

"I was pretty scraped up and bruised," Hall said. "And he just got back into his car and floored it. He took off."

There were several bystanders. One helped Hall up; someone took down the license plate number of the car and watched it go just a block past the scene to the foundation's office. Someone else summoned a nearby U.S. Capitol Police officer, she said.

About 10 minutes later, Schelenski returned to the scene, Hall said, and tried to apologize. "He said he lost his temper," she said. "And then he told the officer that all he did was try to shake my bike. He said I was the one who fell over."

Police arrested Schelenski after he gave them his side of the story and took him to Capitol Police headquarters for processing, according to charging papers filed by prosecutors. He was released and appeared Thursday in D.C. Superior Court. His attorney, Robert Bredhoff, declined to comment on the case, and Schelenski did not return calls to his home or office.

Schelenski is due back in court July 27 for a status hearing.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

homepage: homepage: http://www.heritage.org/

It's gonna be a hot summer . . . 02.Jul.2005 14:21


what with us loosing the war and that impeachment and all. Damn you ballarena, get the F#*& out of my way. I'm more important than you and your anti-american bike.

Geez... 02.Jul.2005 15:15


Will you look at the picture of that guy? Creepy ghoul...

so much for wisdom coming with age 02.Jul.2005 15:22


Here's this old fart, driving around in his stupid death machine, so f*cking self-absorbed with his self-important agenda that he can't even contain himself when he's slowed down for a moment having to share the road with a 23 year old cyclist. So he gets out of his car and shoves her off her bike! This is just too much: almost like a metaphor for our times and the dementia of our culture, or something. A culture that this geezer has spent his entire adult life ideologically championing against all challenges.

Heritage Foundation Articles concerning bicycles 02.Jul.2005 17:57



quote:"unnecessary research—such as studying ways to convert car trips to bicycle trips and a $50 million project to study transit buses—still would go forward as usual."


"Transit Advocates Want the Working Poor to Use Bikes and Buses, Not Cars"

my favorite:
"What Does Not Work
Many urbanized areas have reduced traffic signal coordination; changed one-way streets to two-way (effectively eliminating signal coordination); placed barriers in roads (euphemistically called traffic calming but more accurately titled congestion building ); and spent transportation funds that could be used to reduce congestion on unrelated activities. Supporters of these steps include a congestion coalition of planners, urban environmentalists, transit agencies, and transit builders who hope to gain when people agree to build rail transit out of desperation.

Portland, Oregon, is a leader in this movement. Local officials have put speed bumps in collector streets and eliminated lanes from minor arterials. The regional transportation plan for the Portland area calls for turning many arterials into boulevards --the planners' term for fewer lanes and wider sidewalks--with the aim of increasing walking and bicycling at the expense of driving. The region's transportation planning models predict that these actions will increase walking and cycling from 5 percent of the region's trips all the way to 6 percent.

Portland is also obsessed with rail transit at the expense of auto driving. A major bottleneck in the region is located on Interstate 5, which runs north and south from Washington, through Oregon and into California. A crucial segment of the highway runs through the city of Portland but has only two lanes each way and is heavily congested. For 50 miles to the north and south of this segment, Interstate 5 is at least a six-lane highway, much of it in rural areas.

Highway planners estimate that adding a new lane to this section would cost around $10 million, but the region has instead spent well over $10 million on planning just this section of road. In April 1998, Chairman Henry Hewitt of the Oregon Transportation Commission testified before an interim legislative committee that Portland planners had asked the state not to relieve this bottleneck until a light-rail line is built between Vancouver and Portland. Vancouver has refused to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars required for its share of this light-rail line, and Portland planners are literally holding the cure for this bottleneck hostage until Vancouver funds light rail.

In other words, relieving congestion is less of a technical problem than it is a political problem. Unless the people who are most affected by congestion work together to challenge the congestion coalition, urban congestion will continue to worsen no matter how much money people vote to spend on transportation improvements, because that money will likely be spent on things that will not reduce congestion.

In the long run, it is likely that congestion will be solved, or at least greatly reduced, through the use of intelligent highways on major busy roads. Such highways would include sensors that detect and control cars, with computers that automatically steer, accelerate, and slow cars in tandem. This would allow much higher traffic flows per lane than are currently seen, perhaps quadrupling the capacities of a given highway space.

Many automobiles today have cruise control, and some newer models sense when a car ahead slows down and automatically slow in response. The Toyota 2004 Prius will self-steer. All that will be needed is to connect self-accelerating, self-braking, self-steering cars to an intelligent highway network.

Hybrid-electric cars such as the Prius also virtually eliminate air emissions and greatly reduce energy consumption. Thus, most of the reasons cited for heavy investments in rail transit--saving energy, reducing air pollution, and solving congestion--are being taken care of at a much lower cost without attempting to force people who can drive to use less efficient mass transit."

where to put the robotic steering mechanism 02.Jul.2005 18:16


I suggest that the steering mechanism be implanted with electrodes in the skulls of the drivers.


Come to think of it, maybe my idea is hardly original. The corporate mass media seems already to have perfected robotic steering. Now they just need to make the control realtime.

I'm sure "thinktanks" like Heritage will continue to offer a wealth of ideas to such an end.

but wait... 02.Jul.2005 19:20

this thing here

... i "thought' being a right wing conservative meant that you were closer to jesus christ than the godless liberals, and were always trying to set a good example of how to treat people with respect, unlike the godless bike riding communist homos. how could i have been so "wrong" about right wingers...

commie crap 02.Jul.2005 19:59


"Treating people with respect"?? That's your commie crap right there! You need to learn ye the Gospel of the Supply Side Jeezus -- the One True God in America!

It's about oil 26.Jul.2005 08:46

Jo Routens

He's probably got Saudi friends--the right wing is amazingly cock-in-mouth with the Saudi royal family--and was upset that one DC commuter wasn't chipping in her nickels and dimes in tithing to the ragheads.

what's happened now 04.Aug.2005 11:50

Kristin Hall

I'm the Kristin Hall ballerina who got pushed over. I have to admit, that if I was going to be pushed over by someone, Mr. Schelenski was a good choice. Nobody else would be so entertaining. I go everywhere on my bike - work, the store, dance class, boyfriend's house, you name it - and the only problem I've had (even in a busy city like DC) is this dude.

So that you know the conclusion: the prosecutor chose not to bring the case to trial, so Mr. Schelenski will have to so 40 hours of community service, but not have a criminal mark on his record.