Tag Archive for Anthony Ray Lopez

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Finally, you can thank me later.

Big news in the local bike world that has nothing to do with stripping a certain cyclist of his titles

For once, cycling is the top news story around the world.

But not for reasons any of us would have wanted.

So before we get to the sad tale of yet another former Tour de France winner, let’s catch up on some bicycling announcements that have made their way to my inbox over the last few days.

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First up is what sounds like a very fun afternoon at Golden Road Brewing. And a chance to work on those 16 ounce curls in preparation for next month’s Tour de Fat.

The Pub at Golden Road Brewing is pulling out all the stops for Rider Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 26th – a finish line of sorts for their week-long celebration of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with New Belgium Brewery. Cycling enthusiasts are invited to swing by The Pub, park their wheels at the complementary bike valet and grab a pint of Golden Road or New Belgium beer to watch the last leg of the race from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The first 100 riders to show up will receive New Belgium bike bells, and a New Belgium Fat Tire beach cruiser will be raffled off at the conclusion of the race.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $5, the proceeds of which will benefit the Bicycle Kitchen. A donation bin for spare bike parts for Bicycle Kitchen will be on site as well, with each spare part donated resulting in a free raffle ticket.

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Culver City announces that a section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance next week.

We want to advise you that the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed starting Monday, August 27 through Friday, August 31 from 7 AM to 4 PM between the National Boulevard and Overland Avenue entrances. During this temporary closure, maintenance will be conducted including: tree trimming, graffiti removal, concrete repair, and the addition of trail markings using thermoplastic. Signage will be posted at the Overland, Duquesne and National entrances to alert path users about this closure.

Meanwhile, the L.A. River bike path will be closed for maintenance next week as well, from PCH to Anaheim Street.

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District will be performing environmental clean-up activities adjacent to the Los Angeles River Bike Path between Pacific Coast Highway and Ocean Boulevard from August 27 to September 7.

The Bike Path from Pacific Coast Highway to Anaheim Street will be closed from approximately 8 AM to 3 PM weekdays beginning August 27 and lasting until approximately August 31.  Riders will be detoured onto San Francisco Avenue, one block east of the path.

From Anaheim Street to Ocean Boulevard there will be intermittent delays due to these activities.

For information contact Mr. Dan Sharp, Flood Maintenance Division at (562) 861-0316 or visit http://dpw.lacounty.gov/bikepathclosures/

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Testimony in the murder trial of Anthony Ray Lopez indicates passenger Christopher Isenhower got out of the vehicle to yell at cyclist Armando Villalobos, and urged Lopez to hit him with his truck.

So why the hell isn’t Isenhower facing murder charges as well?

As I understand it, anyone who incites another person to violence shares full culpability for the crime under the law.

Unless the victim is a cyclist, evidently.

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Almost 41-year old Jens Voight wins the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge in a four-hour solo breakaway. Did I mention that he rode alone for four hours — and won by three minutes? Meanwhile, cycling prodigy Taylor Phinney hangs in there, despite a painful fall in the first stage.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Joaquim Rodriguez increases his lead over Chris Froome in the Vuelta by a factor of 10, from one second to a whopping 10 — despite gaining just five seconds on the day. And no, I can’t explain that.

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Lance Armstrong throws in the towel in the US Anti-Doping Agency witch hunt, and will be stripped of his titles; you can read his full statement here. World cycling body UCI is waiting for details before acting; it would be interesting if USADA strips Lance of his titles but they don’t. As usual, Red Kite Player nails it, while this simple chart puts it all in perspective.

Fellow ex-Tour de France doper Floyd Landis — remember him? — settles with prosecutors to avoid fraud charges for lying to all of us to raise funds for his defense.

And it’s two down, one to go, as USADA is undoubtedly preparing to go after the last remaining American Tour de France winner, accusing Greg LeMond of gaining an unfair advantage from the shotgun pellets in his ass.

Don’t get me wrong.

It’s not that I’m defending Lance. I’m just sick of the whole damn thing.

And something tells me this will cause more harm to USADA — and anti-doping efforts in general — than Lance in the long run.

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L.A. Sheriff’s Detectives recover a stolen custom-built bike nearly three months after it was stolen, and sold to another man. USC students get portable separated bike lanes. Glendale’s Bicycle Transportation Plan goes before the city council for final approval on Tuesday. San Diego’s Union-Tribune asks if CEQA is bad for the environment; as long as environmental regulations can be used to stop bikeways, the answer is yes. A Visalia cyclist is severely injured in what appears to be a classic SWSS (single witness suicide swerve); police should be banned from considering the testimony of drivers who kill someone if they’re the only witnesses, since they have a clear motive to lie.

After Portland closes a street to save cyclists from too-frequent right hooks, a vindictive business owner responds with a state-wide ballot initiative to require licensing for cyclists because some run stops; when you can get drivers — who are already licensed — to obey the law, let me know. Cyclists have a rare opportunity to ride Colorado’s Pikes Peak on a trial basis next month; if you ride it, be on your best behavior, since we all know bikes and not cars are the real problem, right? It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with the Springfield Cyclist, who notes bikeways sprouting up around town. A Chicago bike blogger dissects that anti-bike Chicago Tribune column I mentioned here Thursday. New Orleans police have a bike-a-day quota. Two New York cyclists chase down a strong arm thief to recover a stolen bike. Our NC buddy Zeke discusses the recent visit of Long Beach biking expats Russ and Laura.

Saskatoon police point speed guns at cyclists on a bike path in anticipation of a possible speed limit. A British police officer is found guilty of dangerous driving after rear-ending a cyclist at twice the speed limit. A UK woman is killed after falling from her bike as a bus passed; I would point the finger at a too-close pass, one more reason for a minimum three-foot passing law, which comes up for a vote in the California Assembly today. An African school principal accidently kills a cyclist; nice to know he didn’t do it on purpose.

Finally, Torrance opens a new extension to Del Amo Blvd — and bans cyclists and pedestrians in apparent violation of state law, which allows cyclists on all roads open to motor vehicles with the exception of some freeways and expressways; thanks to JG for the heads-up

Note to the Law Office of Daniel W. Dunbar — if you’re going to use so much of my work, it might be nice if you gave me credit. I’m just saying.

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

Update: Cyclist murdered in intentional hit-and-run

Then there were four.

And the latest is the most horrifying of them all.

According Southwest Riverside News Network, a 68-year old Corona man was intentionally run-down and killed while riding in Home Gardens.

And no, I’ve never heard of it either.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s department reports that Herman Armando Villalobos was riding his bike in the 3700 block of Windsong Street in Home Gardens around 4:40 pm Sunday. That’s when 23-year old Anaheim resident Anthony Ray Lopez allegedly took aim with his car and deliberately plowed into Villalobos’ bike, then drove off like any other killer.

CHP officers discovered the victim laying in the street; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lopez based on information provided by witnesses, as well as other evidence. No word yet on motive, how the collision occurred or why investigators believe the collision was intentional.

Lopez is booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside Monday morning, and is being held on $1 million bond for suspicion of murder.

And give the SRNN and Orange County Register reporters credit for not calling this an accident.

This is the fourth cycling fatality in Southern California since the first of the year, and the second already this year in Riverside County.

Update: As of Tuesday night, there’s still no update on why the authorities consider this an intentional attack.

The Orange County Register reports that the victim’s family has no idea who Lopez is or why he would attack the 68-year old grandfather.

KCBS quotes Villalobos’ son as saying the loss hits his family particularly hard, since Villalobos’ son says his mother and sister both passed away earlier this year.

“My dad, he was a very loving man,” said Joseph. “I think it’s absolutely disgusting that my dad was run down, recklessly, for no reason…”

“Whoever did this, I hope they can feel the pain that we feel,” said Joseph. “This person made me and my sister orphans.”

According to the Press-Enterprise, Villalobos was near his home when he was killed, and just riding for exercise. They also report there were a number of witnesses to the collision. 

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