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.
I wonder what the motive for this is.
How are they calling this murder? Was the driver overheard making some comment about the cyclist or cyclists in general?
No idea. The sheriff’s department has been very tight lipped so far.
Thanks for posting about these incidents. This death could be gang related, and that might also explain why the police not releasing all the details, since it may connect to an ongoing investigation. I was intentionally hit by a carload of bangers, and had to do a shoulder roll to the left to get out of the follow through after being thrown by the initial impact (the impact was severe enough to do a lot of soft tissue damage). According to police in the area, at the time I was hit gang members were using cars to hit people as part of an initiation ritual, and my assault fit the MO. The one driver who could have gotten the plate of attackers, instead turned around to see if I was OK.
I classify assaults differently than normal traffic crashes, much in the same way I don’t consider a mugging a pedestrian “crash”. If the MO is correct, then this is at least an assault with a deadly weapon. if not murder, because it involved some level of premeditation and malice of forethought (think back to the Mandeville Canyon assaults and conviction of former ER Dr. Thompson).
If I didn’t say it when you mentioned this incident before, and I don’t think I did, I’m glad you were able to survive this attack with injuries you could recover from; sounds like the outcome could have been much worse.
I do understand your thinking on how to classify intentional attacks. My bias is to include intentional assaults using motor vehicles along with other fatal collisions; it makes little difference to the victim whether his killer did it accidently or on purpose.
The question becomes how do you determine which are intentional and which are sheer stupidity, carelessness and/or distraction on the part of the driver. I have little doubt that more of these so-called accidents are intentional than we know, as some drivers attempt to bump a cyclist to teach us a lesson in their warped minds.