No Spin Zone: The Grunting-Hedge-Fund-Manager Case Begins in New York

Hedge-Fund Manager Stuart Sugarman, 48, like to scream while spinning. To the irritation of many, Sugarman routinely yells things like “Woo-woo!” or “Great song!” or “Good burn,” or “You go, girl!” It was apparently too much for Stockbroker Christopher Carter, 44, at an Equinox gym at 85th Street and Third Avenue in New York. After telling Sugarman to quiet down and allegedly being told to “make me,” Carter pushed Sugarman off his bike. He now faces a year in jail and Sugarman has testified as a victim of spin rage.

Sugarman explains that these exclamation “really come out automatically.”

The spin instructor for that class, Mark Selden, testified that Sugarman is the loudest “spinner” he’s ever heard in some 1,700 workouts. It is like some spinning class version of the scene in Harry Met Sally when Sally Albright fakes an organism at a New York deli only to have an older woman say to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.”

The problem is that Sugarman appears perfectly obnoxious and a testament to the loss of all sense of dignity to the ravages of middle age. What is interesting is that the trial has become an exploration of the spinning “high” and how it affects people. None of that will likely help Carter, of course. Absent a new form of temporary insanity defense related to spin rage, Carter is likely to be found guilty and could face civil action from Sugarman.

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