Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

10 comments

  1. SqueakyWheelLA says:

    Making this crime even more nauseating is the knowledge that, in order to be charged with murder instead of manslaughter, the perpetrator has at least one prior DUI.

    If the prior was committed in California, the perpetrator already sat through a really boring MADD Victim Impact Panel, probably yawning, rolling his eyes, and flirting with the big-eyed brunette next to him. And now he’s all inconvenienced by, like, bail and incarceration and stuff.

  2. Heartbroken says:

    Only 10 years? All of his loved ones are suffering. I have to sit with his distraught friend every day and try to comfort them when there’s no way I possibly can. There is no comfort in knowing Tom will never walk this earth again but his killer will get out in a measly 10 years. Justice will not be served in this case.

    • bikinginla says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      Unfortunately, 10 years is a best case scenario. The DA’s office has a history of bargaining away serious charges to get a plea deal; so a few years is far more likely. Even if it goes to trial, most judges are extremely lenient when it comes to traffic crimes.

      Your best bet is to follow this case closely, and get everyone you can to attend every hearing so the DA and judge know you demand real justice for a change.

  3. yawfle says:

    (Gloucester, MA, not England.)

  4. Teresia says:

    Please do not allow the death of my sins cherished friend be another wasted opportunity to end the crime of putting drunk arrogant individuals with no concern for any form of life another chance to do it yet again.
    What is the difference in this crime to one where an individual goes on a shooting spree
    It would also be interesting to see who he drank with and if someone allowed him to then drive. Accessory to murder.? Imagine the implications.

  5. Cindy says:

    I want to know if the murderer is a US citizen.

    • Heartbroken says:

      What does it matter? Drunk driving is an epidemic in America, which is being contributed to by people who are legal and not. But it’s not about the killer. It is about Tomas Brewer. His name needs to be remembered. His beautiful spirit needs to be kept alive. Let’s make sure this guy gets the max penalty, but let’s also remember Tom. He deserves that.

      • Cindy says:

        It matters because the thousands of Americans murdered by illegal immigration are victims not only of their killers, but of a government that refuses to do its job. You are right, heartbroken, we have enough drunk drivers of our own to deal with and it must stop. Our prayers go out to Tom’s family and friends, may he rest in peace!

        • bikinginla says:

          Thank you for your comments, Cindy, but this is not the place for that conversation.

          Right now, we don’t even know the ethnicity of the driver, let alone whether he was born in this country, as I assume you must have been judging by your comments. Regardless, where he’s from and whether he arrived here vaginally or by any other means has absolutely nothing to do with his decision to get drunk and get behind the wheel, let alone drive at freeway speeds.

          Let’s show respect to the victim, and avoid needless, and most likely irrelevant, speculation.

    • Chip Brewer says:

      Tomas was my son. The DA said they couldn’t even ask if he was illegal or not. I said even with a death. Nope. I was very surprised.

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