Bad night for cyclist shootings in Southern California; cyclist killing driver gets 25 to life for murder

Two bike riders lost their lives to gunfire Thursday night.

One in San Diego, and a second in Santa Ana six hours later.

According to the North County Times, San Diego police responded to reports of gunshots and a man down around 7pm on South 35th Street near Durant Street.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, had been riding his bike near his home when he was shot. He fell off his bike, then ran towards his home, collapsing before he could get there.

Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

Six hours later, a second bike rider was shot and killed in Santa Ana in what police describe as a gang-related shooting.

The Orange County Register reports that 20-year old Edgar Omar Sura of Anaheim was found suffering from multiple wounds when police responded to reports of gunshots around 1am on the 4500 block of Westminster Avenue.

According to KABC-7, Sura was riding his bike when he was shot around La Bonita Avenue and 17th Street; like the victim in San Diego, he tried to run away, but collapsed before he could reach a nearby condo complex.

Authorities may offer a reward of $50,000 for information on the shooter(s).

These are the fifth and sixth fatal shootings of bike riders in Southern California this year, and the second each in both San Diego and Santa Ana.

Update: The San Diego-area victim has been identified as 44-year old Juan Carlos Martinez of Mountain View. 

………

Finally, a fallen cyclist gets the justice he deserves.

Sixty-eight-year old Armando Herman Villalobos of Home Gardens was riding his bike home from the grocery store when he allegedly cut off a truck driven by 23-year old Anthony Ray Lopez of Corona.

Egged on by his passenger after an afternoon of drinking, Lopez followed Villalobos’ bike, yelling and cursing at him. When the cyclist ignored them, Lopez bumped the back wheel of the bike with his truck, yet somehow Villalobos managed to stay upright.

Then the passenger, 24-year old Christopher Isenhower, said “Let’s go for him,” according to a witness; Lopez gunned his engine, hitting Villalobos’ bike and sending him flying to his death. Lopez then fled the scene after stopping to dislodge the bike from under his truck.

Isenhower reported the hit-and-run to Riverside sheriff’s deputies later the same night — presumably after sobering up a little.

The Valley News reports that Lopez was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison on Friday, the sentence dictated by sentencing guidelines for first degree murder following Lopez’ conviction on August 30th.

No word on the charges or potential sentencing facing Isenhower, who appears far from innocent in this case.

………

Photos courtesy of Michael Eisenberg

Michael Eisenberg sends word that the bike lane-blocking bus layover on Rinaldi Street has finally been repainted, as promised by Lynne Goldsmith at Bike Metro.

I saw this final restripe on the commute to work this morning. The bike lane used to be the closest 3 feet to the curb. They narrowed each car lane 1 foot. There is a broken line area where the buses are supposed to park, and this guy missed the mark by 40′, but the restripe job covered the entire block, so I guess it really doesn’t matter. There really isn’t safe passing room between the bus and the right car lane, but the restripe adds a little more visual acuity to the situation.

The shame is that the block before this one there is a really large dead area where the street is extra wide as it transitions of the 118 Fwy overpass where the buses could park without impeding any traffic or bike traffic.

………

I couldn’t resist sharing this email from San Diego rider gottobike in response to yesterday’s discussion of Jerry Browned as the new, well-deserved term for getting dangerously buzzed by a passing car while riding your bike.

I was carefully Jerry Browned while cycling in San Diego the other day. While bicycling through a construction area, a motorist swerved into the bike lane at a high rate of speed and came very close to clipping me (the “classic” Jerry Brown). With gravel, sand, and dust flying, he segued this Jerry Brown maneuver into a right hook, and then quickly corrected and shot down a frontage street that paralleled our course.

When I caught up with the motorist to compliment him on his Jerry Browning skills, he assured me that even though he had cut in front of me, he had done it very carefully.

I’m sure this careful Jerry Browning did not present any risk to the motorist.

……..

Finally, you can thank me later.

6 comments

  1. JD says:

    Unable to return fire. What a tragedy.

  2. [...] shooter, after what investigators believe was a dispute among roommates, a police spokesman said. Bad night for cyclist shootings in Southern California; cyclist killing driver gets 25 to life for m… Two bike riders lost their lives to gunfire Thursday night. One in San Diego, and a second in [...]

  3. The bike lane implimentations on Rinaldi St are examples of inferior design. There should be an effort to reduce the number of times a large massed motorized vehicle can intersect a bicycle pathway when cyclists are in motion. Having the bike lane on the left side of where a wide body bus stops will induce disruptions in the bicyclists travel and decrease their safety.

    A much better design is shown several times in this video of riding on mostly unprotected bike lanes along secondary roads in Utrecht (the Dutch usually put protected bike paths next to primary streets).:

    In the video, as the bike lane approaches a bus stop, the bike lane is diverted to the right and temporarily becomes a protected path until the stop is cleared. Any potential conflicts would be with exiting or boarding bus passengers, which is much easier for a cyclist to deal with compared to a bus.

    Going after the inevitable human errors that will occur with drivers using bad infrastructure design is like playing whack-a-mole. A more effective way to reduce these potential conflicts is by reducing the possibility of them happening by creating less disruptive and safer travel for cyclists through more effective infrastructure design.

  4. Again, that wasn’t the video. My apologies. I’ve tested this link several times by copying and pasting it on another web page. If it doesn’t a completely different video, then I don’t know what the problem is.

  5. Eric W says:

    Dennis – the video has a wrong way salmon cyclist. There might have been a few choice words spoken when they came at the camera. So, there is still a bit of a way to go, even in Holland.

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