Cyclist jailed for violence against traffic controllers
A Brisbane cyclist's bizarre and violent vendetta against traffic control workers has landed the former Army reservist and Canberra bureaucrat in jail.
Stock market trader Dion Henry Rinaldi, 43, today pleaded guilty to serious assault of a person over 60 and assault occasioning bodily harm.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard Rinaldi was cycling through the city in November when he ignored traffic barriers and entered an area where a truck was reversing.
A 69-year-old traffic controller said to Rinaldi "hey mate you can't come in here".
Rinaldi did a U-turn, got off his bike and without warning hit him in the head, the court heard.
Rinaldi then punched him to the ground and ran off before being apprehended by bystanders.
About four weeks later, while on bail for the assault, he attacked another traffic controller in the same area.
The court heard he punched the 54-year old twice, knocking him to the ground.
In a victim impact statement read to the court the older victim said he may need surgery on his knee from the attack.
"This assault made me question my employment of nearly 20 years because it could have potentially ended my life," he said.
"Ever since the assault whenever I see a cyclist I feel apprehensive and anxious … for just doing my job, which is about people's safety first and foremost."
The other victim said he suffered a concussion which now sees him wake with headaches several times a week.
He now works less and struggles to understand the attack given his role was to "keep the public safe."
Since the last attack the former Federal Auditor-General's office employee with an MBA has found himself in jail. After being assaulted, which he reported to prison authorities, he was placed in protective custody due to death threats.
Magistrate Steve Courtney said he struggled to understand the incidents given Rinaldi presented as a "very accomplished individual" with almost no criminal history.
"It just doesn't make sense that he did these things," he said.
Rinaldi's lawyer Shane McDowell said his client believed, falsely, the second victim had been involved in the first incident. He said Rinaldi's parents "were absolutely flabbergasted" at their son's behaviour.
Mr Courtney said it was "inexplicable, gratuitous violence".
"I hope you realise the consequences upon these men … and their loved ones," he said.
He ordered Rinaldi pay each victim $2000 and sentenced him to 12 months jail.
Taking into account the 52 days Rinaldi has spent in custody he set his parole eligibility date as today.
Originally published as Cyclist jailed for 'gratuitous violence' against traffic controllers