Update: Inglewood bike rider killed in early morning collision with Sheriff’s Deputies

Did L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies make a fatal mistake in trying to stop a bike-riding suspect?

Or did they use their patrol car as a weapon in a deadly use of force?

According to a very brief press release from the Sheriff’s Department, a marked patrol car collided with a bicyclist at 1:25 am today on the 3500 block of West 107th Street.

The deputies were reportedly attempting to contact the cyclist, who they believed was armed with a handgun; a search was underway for the weapon, which was not recovered at the time.

And yes, they did make contact with the victim, who has not been publicly identified.


The Daily Breeze reports the rider was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital in full cardiac arrest. The paper says Inglewood police are investigating the incident; the sheriff’s department patrols in nearby Lennox, which is next to where the collision occurred.

There’s no word on how the collision took place.

However, it’s not unusual for police to use their doors or patrol cars in an attempt to stop a bike rider, not realizing that a simple bump can have deadly consequences for a bicyclist. Any physical contact with a moving bike should be considered a use of force, and subject to the same restrictions as an officer firing his gun at a suspect.

This is the 62nd bicycling death in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County; the victim is the first SoCal cyclist killed due to the actions of law enforcement officers in recent memory.

My prayers for the victim and his family.

Thanks to Tim Rutt from Altadenablog and Danny Gamboa of ZKO Films for the heads-up.

Update: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Alfonso Cerda, a father of three who lived in the area where he was killed; he was reportedly on his way to a friend’s house when he was killed. No gun has been found; family members suggest he may have been carrying a flashlight.

According to LAist, authorities report the officers attempted to stop Cerda, who initially complied before taking off on his bike. They say he then pointed what the deputies thought was a gun at them; one officer took cover, while the other chased Cerda down with his patrol car, hitting Cerda as he attempted to get ahead of him.


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  2. mahythesis says:

    How despicable.
    Thanks for continuing with these reports. It must be hard to maintain the effort with the weight of balance to the sadder line of news. But it’s important. I hope with our combined efforts one day soon the law and its enforcers will finally take the side of justice of the less powerful and more endangered cyclist, and these absurdly unnecessary deaths become a tragic thing of the perplexing past.

  3. JD says:

    Criminals know what an easy mark a person on a bicycle is, therefore the law enforcement officers must be aware of this, and also are aware of the laws of physics in a collision between a car and a bicycle. This should be investigated just as if it were a police shooting.

  4. Opus the Poet says:

    I’m reminded of the deaf cyclist tased in MS that died from being run over by the cop car after he fell off the bike (what did they think was going to happen?)…

  5. JD says:

    I routinely carry a high power flashlight to jacklight chauffer driven Priuses. Maybe I’ll be the next one shot or rammed by the cops in my “bike friendly” city or state. Wish I could afford two GoPros.

  6. Alan says:

    I don’t know of a single decent person riding their bicycle at 1:30 in the morning to go to a friends house. Nor do I know anyone that would take off from the police if they were not doing anything wrong. just saying…

    • bikinginla says:

      When a bicycle is your primary means of transportation, as it appears to have been for Cerda, you ride it anytime of the day or night. We also have no way of knowing what was in his mind, or why he chose to flee.

      However, let’s remember that we’re getting just one side of the story, from the only people who survived this incident. And they have a vested interest in portraying their actions in the best possible light.

    • MemyselfandI says:

      Bad form!

      many people have an ingrained fear of Police. many minorities even more so. Sadly far too many people see a mans skin color or dress, or even read his name, and judge them unfairly. How’d you like to be on the wrong side of being profiled like that?

      Did Mr Cera speak english? Did he have something to hide? Did he have a weapon? Or were the Police knee jerk reacting or a few jack booted thugs?

      There is no info here other than a short report, certainly not enough to know anything. Was he a good dad, a family provider and otherwise decent person trying to get by?

      Did he have a weapon? If so where is it? too many questions + no answers = no room to make a judgement.

  7. MemyselfandI says:

    If the police were in fact chasing a criminal, who was armed, then use of force is generally warranted. If this was not the case, the incident needs to be carefully reviewed and the truth found and published. Disciplinary actions must follow.

    Riding a bike at 1 am is not a crime punishable by death, nor does it warrant excessive force.

    If Mr Cerda panicked and took off I am not so sure that would warrant force or deadly force.

    Sadly, none of us were there and we know only what has been reported so far.

    The long and short of it all is a father of 3 kids is now gone.

    • Be Real B! says:

      Having known Al Cerda since he was a young teen, his bicycle was his only transportation. I never saw violence from him and the Lennox sheriffs have a bad reputation for improper arrest if you are other then white!

  8. dan says:

    The cyclist was never suspected of any wrong doing. The only suggestion he should stop or pull over came in the form of being run over. There was no pursuit, sirens or flashing lights, nor a call for backup or man with a gun etc.
    To see how sheriff deputies stop cyclists, you can visit youtube and try “LASD Illegal Search”.

  9. Alvaro Cerda says:

    Alvarocerda@aol.com. I want everyone to know, how my brother was killed by the sheriff dept. Also want everyone to know i had a one one one meeting with the sheriff, Mr lee baca. I was lied to. And i will share it all. Private conversation. Please join me on a total vigil for all who have similar cases or stories. Lets unit. Email me. I will walk from downtown to the sheriff office one mile..join me..

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