Fatal bike assault finally explained as case goes to trial; anti-bike Chicago columnist goes off deep end

The Valley News finally offers an explanation for why police believe the death of a Riverside County cyclist earlier this year was an intentional act.

Anaheim resident Anthony Ray Lopez was charged with deliberately running down and killing 68-year old Herman Armando Villalobos of Home Gardens. Now Lopez faces trial for first degree murder with great bodily injury allegations for the January 15th death; a jury was empanelled on Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, Lopez had spent the afternoon drinking with a friend while watching a football game at a Corona bar before driving home; on the way, he crossed paths with Villalobos, who was riding home after shopping with grocery bags on his handlebars.

Villalobos reportedly rode in front of Lopez, forcing him to brake sharply. After exchanging glares, Villalobos rode off, with an enraged Lopez following behind and cursing at the cyclist.

When that failed to get a response, Lopez bumped the rider’s bike; witnesses say his bike jumped but Villalobos was somehow able to maintain control. Lopez then floored his pickup and slammed into Villalobos, running him over and dragging him and his bike 30 feet before fleeing the scene.

He is currently being held jail on $1 million bond. We can only hope he’s been there since he was arrested, and will never again see the light of day.

Frankly, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do something like that.

………

Oh please.

In an absolutely idiotic proposal, a self-proclaimed visionary newspaper columnist proposes that a) cyclists pay tolls to use bikeways, b) stop sign cameras be installed to automatically ticket scofflaw cyclists, c) cyclists be required to pay hefty fees to use city-owned bike racks, and d) that cyclists buy a handlebar-mounted transponder that would allow them to bypass toll booths.

Brilliant.

As long as your plan is to discourage bike use, with the resulting increase in vehicular traffic, traffic congestion, more traffic collisions and a decrease in air quality, as well as a jump in obesity and other related health problems.

But other than that, his plan is pure genius.

Visionary, indeed.

And by the way, Chicago Tribune, do I really need to tell you where you can put your pay wall?

………

Century City bankruptcy attorney Stanley E. Goldich reports an all too typical interaction with an elderly driver while riding on PCH.

On PCH last week, heading South on PCH near Cross Creek a car coming from the Malibu Sea Colony street on the west merged into PCH without any regard to me – I was not going fast so it was not dangerous. He hit the light and I knocked on his window and could see it was an elderly man. I nicely said that he needed to yield to cyclists as well as cars – he responded that he would need to see the cyclist first.

………

Tom Danielson won stage three of the USA Pro Challenge in a bold breakaway, riding the last 20 miles alone after cresting Independence Pass; Christian Vande Velde and Tejay van Garderen are tied for the lead. Danielson and Vende Velde give credit to Dave Zabriskie. Italian rider Daniele Callegarin is back riding with Team Type-1 a year after suffering a serious crash when he hit a cattle guard in last year’s inaugural Pro Challenge.

Meanwhile, Simon Clarke edges Tony Martin following a long breakaway to win the fourth stage of the Vuelta; Joaquin Rodriguez holds the overall lead, with Chris Froome second.

And CNN offers a recap of the witch hunt case against Lance Armstrong.

………

September’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will be the group’s first Sunday FunGay ride. Flying Pigeon urges cyclists to give their tires a little love. Long Beach votes to establish a $12 million bike share program with Bike Nation; combined with the Anaheim and upcoming L.A. programs, we could be on the verge of a pan-SoCal bike share network. Solana Beach residents and visitors are urged to leave their cars at home this Saturday. A 16-year old San Diego cyclist is injured in a hit-and-run; his brother reports hearing the truck rev its engine just before the collision. Local bike advocates look at what it will take to make Sacramento even more bike friendly. The 81-year old road raging driver who ran down a cyclist on a Santa Rosa golf course is out on bail, and people who’ve encountered him say he has a hair-trigger temper; anyone want to bet he gets rearrested before his case even goes to court? The Santa Rosa paper calls on drivers to share the road. A helmetless Santa Rosa cyclist pulls an endo trying to avoid a head-on collision; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link. Tahoe police throw the book at a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a cyclist before fleeing the scene, leading them on a dangerous chase and crashing her car.

Safer cars may mean reduced safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Oregon police try to circumvent state law in order to ticket cyclists for leaving bike lanes. An OR woman seeks the hit-and-run driver who killed her bike-riding friend. A Colorado woman is charged with DUI, hit-and-run and other crimes when she turns herself in after seriously injuring a cyclist. Now that’s what I call a good looking Denver off road bikeway. A Pueblo CO girl is impaled on the gooseneck of her handlebars; for something described as a freak accident, this sort of thing seems to happen far too often. A Missoula MT detective commandeers a bike to capture a fleeing suspect; the Sheriff’s department paid to repair “significant” damages to the bike. A Wisconsin Catholic priest is killed while riding his bike. Chicago cyclists will soon enjoy a protected bike lane and special bike red lights on the city’s famed Loop. An Ohio man credited with developing the bike helmet mirror has passed away. A recumbent racer bounces back from a near-death infection to set a world record. After a Rochester NY BMX rider is hit by a car, police ticket him for riding on the sidewalk. A Kentucky cyclist suffers repeated attacks from an aggressive owl. A North Carolina cyclist captures the national crit championship in the 75 and older group. If you’re fleeing by bike after stealing a TV, keep your eyes on the road so you don’t crash into a police car.

Yesterday, a protected bike lane made of red Solo cups; today, a bike lane made from garbage — and both work. Popular UK bike website Bikeradar.com pulls support for an insurance company-backed plan that would require cyclists to pass a proficiency test before being allowed on the roads. The rich get richer: Dutch cyclists get a floating bike roundabout to avoid a busy intersection. In the wake of a recent cycling death, Singapore officials warn cyclists to be careful on the roads, rather than urging drivers not to kill them; drivers say it’s not their fault, while a cyclist(?) says we don’t belong on roads with speed limits over 31 mph. Vietnam turns back to bikes.

Finally, after she’s stuck in traffic, a Baton Rouge surgeon borrows a child’s bike to ride to a scheduled operation. A Russian cyclist rides the world’s smallest bike. And a Florida cyclist can’t stay off — or on — his, after police warn him not to ride while drunk.

7 comments

  1. Diane Worthington says:

    My brother was killed on August 18, 2012. Do you follow the case as it will go before DA next week. His brother’s name is Donald McCluskey, accident on April 18, 2012. The gentleman that killed by brother Armando Gomez was not even in the article. He ran a red light carelessly. Our family had been devastated of this loss. We will know more once we receive the police report. In the future, are you willing to run a story about my brother?

    Diane Sent from my iPhone

    • bikinginla says:

      Hi Diane. I’m aware of the case, and reported on it when it happened. Unfortunately, your brother appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and did absolutely nothing to cause his own death.

      I haven’t heard any more about the collision since then. In fact, your comment is the first time I’ve seen the name of the man who ran the red light.

      I’m more than happy to offer an update, whether you want to write a guest post or forward the information to me to write something. You can find my email address on the About page.

      And please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  2. jg says:

    BinLA, did you hear about the new $32million .7 of mile stretch of Del Amo in Torrance? it’s closed to cyclists and pedestrians because of heavy industrial usage.

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_21368363/del-amo-boulevard-extension-set-open-wednesday-torrance?source=rss_viewed

    For $32 million, we don’t even get a sidewalk and a bike lane?

    • Vic Cooper says:

      Didn’t know a municipality had the authority to ban bicycles on a public road! Isn’t that in conflict with California law?

      21200. Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions dealing with driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

      • bikinginla says:

        Vic is right. Under California law, if a car is allowed to use the street, bikes are, as well. The only exceptions are for some limited access freeways and expressways, as specified under CVC 21960.

        However, looking at the satellite photo, the limited access along this stretch of roadway may allow them to claim it is an expressway.

        Nice to see 1970 road design is alive and well in Torrance.

        • Vic Cooper says:

          They apparently banned bikes and pedestrians based on the EIR (link attached … see pages 156-157 and 160). But I read the EIR as recommending against bike facilities only on one side of the street.

          http://www.torranceca.gov/PDF/delamoextension.pdf

          And although it looks as if it might be limited access and thus qualify as an expressway, it was not designated as such.

          Flares, pollutants, and a 50MPH+ speed limit … it sure doesn’t sound like a friendly place to ride a bike.

  3. karL says:

    What basis has you claim bikes would become less attractive if they could bid for road lanes?

    Today is the day that greedy bastards will buy aone for 30 some cents and hold it only until later this year for barely a quadriple digit return despite it being sold at about nearly a dime on the dollar- under a third of book value for over a week now in fact.

    Any serious bike person will join me in wagering the price goes back up towhat it was when all the most brilliant investors where snatching it up, within 18 months, as that will allow us to sieze control to allow people to buy bike batteries without going to autozone in the best case and claiming we just bought a BMW and someone stole it’s battery. The problem with doing that is you would have to us speaker wire- and subwoofer at that, to connect itt the brushless hub motor controller even if you can get a d ecent one that takes 12 volts and don’t mind cramping your water bladder pack or it’s hard shell otherwise.

    It’s unacceptable we are still forced to buy car crap or what we are allowed to use in public for free. I’d pay whatever fines to run stopsigns if that allowed me a second lane as it would on enough roads to make biking not just fun and faster but also clearly not just obviously to some the safest seat.

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