Cyclist Assaulted On Pico
Thread started by Agent Orange
at 04.2.07 - 7:23 pm
This infuriating story is reposted from the following blog of a cyclist named Chris who was verbally and physically assaulted while riding on Pico Boulevard March 30:
So I was out Biking today...
Short Version- Out biking, heading west on Pico Blvd, when I am near Beverwill and a black pickup truck (Toyota?) is near by, and the passenger throws someting, and yells "Get the Fuck off the road!"
Naturally upset that sombody actually hurled something at me from a moving vehicle, I turned down the road that they turned down, and wrote down their license plate, 7H76469 (or 6409, But I think it is the other one).
They are now making a U-Turn, and coming back in my direction, as well as heading back towards Pico Blvd. That just so happens to be where I am going, because now that I have thier license plate, I am ready to go on my way, and report the passenger later.
As I stop at the stop sign, getting ready to turn, the passenger leans out his window and scream s again at me, "Get the Fuck off the road!"
I turn to him, and inform him (calmly, I might add) that bikes are allowed full use of the lane.
He again instructs me to get the FUCK off the road.
"Califorina Vehicle Code 21202 Allows me to be on the road"
"Get the FUCK OFF THE ROAD!"
At this time, he starts punching me repeatedly in the face. I back up, not wanting to give this guy any reason to say that I incited him, and yell back at him, "So that is how its going to be, huh, THAT is how its going to be!"
At this time, I pulled out my cell phone, call 911, and make the action again of writing down their plates.
So, I finally get in touch with a dispatcher, inform them of my location, and as well as what has happened. They tell me that I can wait for an officer, request an ambulance, or go to a local police station.
I op for the local station, because my situation isn't that urgent of an emergengy, and I dont think I need an ambulace for a few punches to the face.
I get to the station, and filed a police report.
So, I returned to my girlfriends place, and got these pictures taken to document the injury.
Puffy face, notice the right cheek and swolen lipsEwww.....Bloody lipsSwelling has gone down
I was punched about 3-4 times on the right side of my face, so my cheek became puffy, and my mouth was bleeding quite a bit.
More to follow, I am going to press charges, and do everything I can to make sure that this guy understands that hitting random people, especially bikers is completely unacceptable.
I hope my situation doesnt have to escalate like this one did, where I need to stage a call in to city officials to see action...but I am ready to provide info in case it does.
wow that sucks. i would hate to be in that situation. there have been many close calls with drivers. i have a feeling i would have fought back. not a good situation either way. it's funny how some people are so ignorant. they seriously need a reality check. i hope u sue the crap outta that idiot driver.
04.3.07 - 8:20 am
Dude, if you want to see anything done, contact the Councilman who covers this area:
District 5 - Jack Weiss
City Hall Office (213)-473-7005
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
His Field Office:
822 S. Robertson Boulevard,
Los Angeles 90035
Phone (310) 289-0353
Is there a detective assigned to this case? It shouldn't be that hard to run somebody's plates, and find the driver of that vehicle. I'm going to email a link to this story to Wiess' district office rep. in charge of this area.
Did you report this to the West LA LAPD Station? Their contact info is a s follows:
1663 Butler Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025
If there is a police report number, let us know what it is. That way we can refer to it when we call in to ask about what action has been taken.
04.3.07 - 11:31 am
Wiess' Century City Rep is named Catherine Hennigan.
His office wants to know what happened, and wants the LAPD to follow up on this. If you can post the police report number, and add more details, it will help us track this guy down.
If anyone has an interest in seeing this jerk get arrested, call the councilman's office and ask about what the LAPD has done to follow up on this assault.
04.3.07 - 11:44 am
I wonder how many people have bothered to get out of a car and attack someone Big Bike Dan or Roadblock's size? Every time some angry motorist is about to get out of their car and give me some kind of crap, they take a second look at the huge bicycle and the 6'-7" 225lb rider and decide against it. Face it, they are a bunch of chickenshits and only dare to attack solo riders who are not of large stature. I hope when this fool goes to County, he gets punked for being the punk that he is.
04.3.07 - 2:58 pm
be careful what you wish for.
I've seen a cyclist get jumped in the middle of a huge Critical Mass ride.
When road rage takes over, there's nothing you can do regardless of size or numbers.
god forbid one of these arrogant motorists is carrying a gun
04.3.07 - 3:12 pm
Personally I am troubled by the psychology behind motorists assaulting cyclists either physically or by running them off the road, etc. Or any form of motorist to cyclist aggression for that matter.
To me, it just seems like a completely senseless crime. But I do wonder what makes these individuals lash out at our community as often as they seem to? Is it because we are easy targets to bullies looking for violence, or is there more to it? Are these acts of aggression by people who believe we have no legal right to the road?
The reason I pose these questions is because I feel that if we have at least somewhat of an idea as to why these things happen, we may be able to prevent some of these incidents.
As for now I think our best defense is the continued education of the motorist population. Things like informing them of the CVC which allows us use of the road, and instructing them on how to deal with cyclists in the road. Because we all know that a lot of drivers have no clue.
Another thing we need to do is keep showing up downtown, and keep talking to local officials about our concerns as cyclists in a car dominated city. All in all, we really need to band together to make the road a safer place before we allow ourselves to be trampled upon and forcefully driven and BEATEN off the roads.
04.3.07 - 3:29 pm
lol. man spiral you know it. totally. they could have a gun or they could just plain be ruthless with a weapon of some sort, and jeronimo dont think it couldnt happen a couple weeks ago I got socked in the head by a driver who I got into it with and low and behold he was a size-able dude. just got out of the car and punched my ass didnt even say shit. I was caught completely off guard like a bitch arguing about my right to the road! the punch itself was weak but it did put me on the defensive and I didnt land a fuckin single lame swipe at the dude in return. lesson learned, forget about arguing just sock that punk bitch in the face FIRST talk about your rights to the road later. better yet just try to be the bigger individual and dont get yourself into something you dont want to be in if you cant handle the unknown. all in all I dont know if I would bother the cops about some college level street fight bullshit they have too much going on as it is. now a hit and run is a different story.. and fuck it I carry my ulock as much as possible. it's a good lil weapon. BEAR SPRAY though.... NOW WE'RE talkin!
04.3.07 - 3:44 pm
Road rage against bike riders will continue to rise as more and more people ride bikes on city streets that are getting more and more crowded. I've had my share of crap thrown at me. I've been hit by water once. I've been missed by ice, soda, eggs and trash. All separate incidences. I've had several verbal incidences resulting in lots of yelling and f-youz. I've been run off the road twice, once by an SUV once by a delivery truck. It seems like incidences will continue to rise as the population of LA keeps increasing. See all those horrendous lofts they are building everywhere?! People are going to start living in them, people equals cars until roads are safer for bikes and public transportation improves.
Us riders, especially us Ridazz, are the brave few that take to these streets.
So what are the solutions? Education. Bikers and Motorists alike. Bicycle related vehicle codes need to appear on the DMV cheat guides and tests. Children in elementary schoosl need to be taught to ride bikes and the rules of the road. Teens and Adults in Drivers Edu and training courses need to be taught as well. And a full on advertising campaign, as seen in SanFran, needs to be implemented, that state Bikes belong on the Streets. Those are really simple things if you think about it.
do I have a witness?
the reverend dak
04.3.07 - 3:59 pm
I've learned that unless you're willing to back it up, it isn't worth yelling and screaming at someone in L.A. I try passive aggression on people when I get a chance - like, I stop right behind someone who just rried to run me over, and flash my lame ass blinky light in their rear view mirror. Or I cut in front of them at the next light and smile at them.
What happened to this guy (getting punched a bunch of times) is ridiculous. He was smart enough to get this jackasses license number. We should follow up with the Councilman and the LAPD to see that they at least question this guy about what happened.
Call up Jack Wiess' office, and give them as much detail as you can. Talk to his Century City field rep, and ask her to follow up with the LAPD. Don't be afraid to let her know who you are, either. It counts more if you have the courage to ask about this non-anonymously.
04.3.07 - 4:03 pm
Most people don't agree with me, but here goes:
It seems to me that some of these guys on the road hiding behind the steering wheel are just pussies looking to get a rise out of riders. Ive had cars rush at me like they are going to hit me a number of times and laugh when I yell at them. I've learned if you just ignore the fuckers they will go away. They are immature, ignorant imbeciles. Drivers who act like pricks are just secretly jealous that they aren't having fun riding a bike like you.
We sometimes have to roll with the punches... Ultimately we prevail.
I'm not saying that these jerks should get away with assault and hit & runs. I'm just saying, it doesn't help to INCITE these meat-wads even further in a given situation. Unless of course they really are asking for it... Make sure you have backup.
Try not to ride alone too much at night in desolate areas if you can help it.
I tend to act like I am a real weirdo and speak unintelligibly if I am being harassed or in a situation and people don't know what to do and go away.
The only way I can think to educate the masses, is if we all just ride more.
04.3.07 - 4:04 pm
Check out this product:
You have to buy the pepper spray seperatly, I have looked around, and it seems Fox labs is the best there is, that is what all the law enforecemnt agencies use.
And if you feel friendly, you can get the decontamination wipes for yourself or your would be assailalnt.
So, Report number- the closest I have to that is an incident number, 7089003802
I did file at the west LA police station, in person.
Thanks for al lthe phone numbers, I am going to call Catherine right now.
As of Tuesday, 5pm, still no word from LAPD. :-(
I am going to E-mail Steve Lopez of the LA times too, see if we can get some mention in his column.
04.3.07 - 4:04 pm
"I tend to act like I am a real weirdo and speak unintelligibly if I am being harassed or in a situation and people don't know what to do and go away."
isn't this happening all the time?
04.3.07 - 4:09 pm
I didn't have the notion for one minute that larger Ridazz couldn't be physically confronted by motorists, it just doesn't happen as often. In fact, I've even bitten off more than I could chew, but was aware enough to realize it before the two huge mulleted motorists could do anything. Choose your battles wisely and in case you have a lapse in judgement, always leave yourself an out. That's where knowing the neighborhoods where you ride is important. A park or a street that is barricaded on one end to calm traffic can be very useful things. If you can't back up a play with words or your bad self, back it up with speed and agility.
04.3.07 - 4:13 pm
Yo! Chris! Call up Jack Wiess' field rep Catherine Hennigan at (310) 289-0353 . Leave your phone number so she can contact you about this.
Jack Wiess' legislative director is an avid cyclist, and his office wants to expedite this with the LAPD - to get a detective to track this dude down. They need details about the car and driver, the time of the incident and the police report number.
Anyone else interested, please call Jack Wiess' office and ask them to help find the cretin who did this. With a license plate number and a good description of this guy, we should be able to at least make his life miserable for a little while. We also need some community support. The councilman's office really wants to help out - so call and let them know that they should get a detective on this ASAP.
04.3.07 - 4:59 pm
I was contacted by Catherine, and she was very friendly.
She says that a Det has been assigned to my case, and I should be expecting a call tomorrow morning.
She also said that she would be calling me tomorrow as a follow up.
This isn't over yet, it has just begun rolling. Its nice to have a member of the city council behind us bikers, now we need to make sure that this gets followed up, and taken to court.
Thank you, everybody for getting the wheels of justice turning.
04.3.07 - 6:08 pm
If this goes to court we should really make a stand by showing up in numbers (ridazz) to the hearing.
Couple hundred people and maybe some media exposure would be good.
04.3.07 - 9:16 pm
My cousin used to throw things out the window of his car at cyclists. Then he got too many duis and lost his license and now HE rides a bike. Its his penance. (and I think he is learning to like it!)
Jeeze, it is pretty scary out there kids. And yes, you bigger guys arent safe either. I agree that we must stick up for ourselves and the bike community, but we have to pick our battles. Getting tough politically is one thing but when confronted by an obvious NUTCASE its best to keep your own aggression contained and stay safe and sane. Cursing at and throwing stuff at a car is at best laughable and at worst inciting grave danger. I'm glad justice is being sought in this situation, and I'm glad the damage was minimal...someone not as levelheaded as sparky couldve ended up worse.
04.3.07 - 9:21 pm
"If this goes to court we should really make a stand by showing up in numbers (ridazz) to the hearing.
Couple hundred people and maybe some media exposure would be good."
that's actually a great idea big DEE
04.3.07 - 9:23 pm
I wrote to Steve Lopez of the LA Times about the situation, as well as how it took the motivation of concerend cyclists to get the LAPD to move, as well as a phone call from Jack Weiss' office.
I also wrote the question, "How can we expect people to get out of their cars and use alternate forms of transportaion, including cycling, if these kinds of attacks are largely going to be ignored by law enforcement?", and referenced the Jen Diamond situation.
For those that havnt seen, Steve has written abut traffic and congesition in LA, in what he calls the Bottleneck Blog
Who else can be contacted? I know there were papers that carried Jens story, asn I know that there is a bike friendly guy on KPFK.
Anybody else have any ideas?
When there is a hearing, I'll be sure to let ya all know, so that we can stage a ride to it.
04.3.07 - 11:23 pm
I’m sorry you got attack Sparky. I hope your healing happens quickly, without any permanent damage.
Messing with a car is serious business. In the past I would always confront a driver, who I felt did something in the wrong. I have never been scared of people personally. Cars, autos are huge, heavy pieces of machinery. Think about when your on a ride on you sideswipe someone else bike wheel, and what that can potentially do to you when your riding. Think of that with the force of a car. I learned my lesson when this crazy lady, "barely" swiped my back tire and twisted the wheel up, amongst other damage to my bike. That was just a swipe, imagine if someone goes after you with their car, and then makes contact with you and your bike. That can be some serious damage. I’m still trying to collect the full monetary restitution for damages. I had to take her to court. I won, but I can’t even get the insurance agent to return my calls, for getting the rest of the money.
Don’t necessarily think that all these people on this form, are going to be there for you when push comes to shove. When my incident happened, the guy who puts on the downtown art ride, took a gang of pictures. I emailed him so many times for the pictures. Did I get a response from him. NO, did I get the pictures that could of helped me in court NO. (I also talked to him in person, he did get the emails.) I’m not saying you won’t get support, but don’t count on it. When your out in the street and someone attacks you, you are on your own. When you got medical bills, people might have a fund raiser for you, but nobody really has the cash to give up for what the damage could be, if your never compensated. Not only hospital bills, but missing work and all the other bills that stack up from missing work.
There is no shame in running from a situation, when you see some potential danger. I would suggest people get the hell away from people that may go off on you. Yes, get the hell off the road, if you are going to suffer some serious damage. It's not worth it. Yes, I know sometimes you don’t see it coming, like a hit and run. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that any victim here is at fault. Just suggesting to everybody, that if you see some trouble coming, it might be better to leave the situation. You could always get the license plate and do damage some other way (if revenge is what you want) in the future. In the heat of the moment, when road rage is happening, emotions are so high, that no one is going to teach the other person a lesson. Somebody may regrettably get hurt
In Jen Diamonds case, I understand the guy denies driving the car, so with no witnesses, no confession, there is no criminal case.
Now Sparky gets punched in the face, and unfortunately the perpetrator may get away from the criminal justice system. So what happened from not running, you have to suffer the repercussions of getting attacked. I'm not one to tell anyone what to do, but by suffering the attack, I don't know if you did anything for the bicycle rights or safety by standing up to him, or not taking off. I don’t put that thought out there for Sparky (I’m sure you got enough on your mind about this, and you have and will,in the future learn much from this incident) , I put it out there so people think about what there plan of action is, when this type of situation possibly occurs
In regards to bigger people not getting attacked. I've had friends that where in the 6'+ largesse, and it always seem that there was some joker who wanted to go after them, just because they where big.
I think the best course of action to see this guy fully prosecuted, (if they are able to produce a criminal case against him) is to lobby the district attorney office who will be prosecuting the case. They are the ones who can press hard for penalties or go light on the suspect. Even though, they are civil servants, the head of the office is an elected official, and those folks never want to be seen as soft on a criminals. The more people that know they are watching a certain case, the more pressure it is on them to press for harsher punishments. The more the DAs office is aware of what a danger these situation are, and the possible damage that can come from motorist attacking bicyclist, the more serious they will prosecute these cases.
04.4.07 - 7:55 am
I now have a case #, it is 070809450.
And this story is now googleable too!
04.4.07 - 4:55 pm
The case is Googleable with what search parameters? It might be nice to spread the link around the 'net.
04.4.07 - 5:08 pm
I reccievend an email from a person saying they were now able to find the story using google.
I just tried typing in the license plate 7H76409, and found midnight ridazz (here)
04.4.07 - 5:55 pm
I reccievend an email from a person saying they were now able to find the story using google.
I just tried typing in the license plate 7H76469, and found midnight ridazz (here)
04.4.07 - 5:56 pm
Thanks for posting this info online. I know you won't be able to post much else about an ongoing police investigation, but when things start happening that are post-able (i.e. court dates), please update us.
Sexy: you are right about being alone, but things don't always have to be that way. It doesn't take much to defend the rights of cyclists.
Without Midnight Ridazz, this assault would still be waiting for the LAPD to assign a detective. They probably wouldn't choose to pursue it if the councilman wasn't involved. Sparky might not have been riding in a heavy vehicle, but he has a fuckin' posse!
Bike ridazz have a posse.
04.5.07 - 8:35 am
Props to Agent Orange and Ubrayj02 for Bangin' the Drum!
I spoke to Katherine Hennigan (Councilmember Jack Weiss' Field Deputy) and she spoke highly of the cycling community's advocacy.
She said the number of phone calls was impressive and that she showed Jack the forum activity and he said "We gotta get on this!"
Keep us posted!
04.5.07 - 9:18 am
Keep us posted when you can. I wonder how many people are attacked daily. I know of another member of the Wolfpack that was assualted within the past 2 months. Her case is currently going through the system so it wouldn't be prudent to give details but it happened in the same general area, maybe further east.
I know I encounter close calls everyday, people scream at me daily and I have stuff thrown at me at least 2 to 3 times a month. As many have said, we just take it as part of riding. I've gotten so use to it now that it doesn't bother that much, which is probably a bad thing. To borrow an old motorcycling cliche but making more relevant " There 2 types of cyclist, one's that have been assualted and ones that will be assualted."
Be careful out there, this stuff happens all the time.
04.5.07 - 1:48 pm