The saga of the Waller County Coal Rolling Teen continues. District Attorney of Waller County Elton Mathis, in an update to his latest Facebook post about the case, gave a firm date on which to expect a decision regarding charges: November 8.
To recap: An as-yet-unidentified Teen behind the wheel of a Ford F250 Super Duty mowed down a group of cyclists last month while they were out training for a race in Waller County, TX. The Teen had been trying to “roll coal,” an illegal form of harassment in which a modified diesel vehicle spews noxious smoke onto vehicles or pedestrians in an attempt to shame them for... something, presumably.
Six cyclists were sent to the hospital with broken spines, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious wounds. The Waller County Police Department, whose Facebook profile photo is a Thin Blue Line strap obscuring an identifying badge, responded to the crash but did not arrest or charge the Teen.
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After the county’s district attorney assigned a special prosecutor to the case, however, things seem to be turning around. The DA expects a final decision on whether or not to charge the Teen in less than two weeks. After both the DA’s office and the Chief of the Waller Police Department agreed the case had been mishandled, it seems likely that some sort of charge will be brought.
The Waller police, the DA’s office, and the attorneys for the wounded cyclists have all made mention of family ties that may affect the case. While these parties are aware of the Teen’s identity, the secret is (for now) still being kept from the public. It’s unknown whether the Teen has relatives in the police department, local government, or any other position of power that may be able to sway the investigation.
The cycling community has kept a close watch on this case as it develops, with the hope that it could serve as a warning to other coal rollers and aggressive drivers. Cyclists share the roads and are allowed to use them like any other vehicle — interfere with that, and the consequences could be serious.