Man riding bicycle killed by suspected car thief in Irwindale crash, collateral damage in police chase

Collateral damage.

A man is dead because a suspected car thief fled from police in Iwindale, slamming into the victim as he rode his bike, even after the cops wisely gave up the chase.

You know, just another “oopsie.”

The victim was riding near Arrow Highway and Rivergrade Road shortly after 8:30 pm yesterday when he was struck by the fleeing driver.

He died at the scene.

He was identified as 50-year old San Gabriel resident Raul Castaneda.

Police arrested 29-year old Hanford, California resident Jonathon Del Carmen Calixto on suspicion of murder, among other charges.

The indent began when police in El Monte received a report of someone stealing a vehicle from Longo Toyota on Peck Road. They began to chase the suspect, but called it off after about a minute.

Calixto continued to flee, apparently at high speed, before crashing into the victim less than six miles away.

He was arrested while attempting to escape on foot after abandoning the vehicle some distance away.

There’s no way to know if the victim would be alive today if police had simply attempted to track the vehicle from the start, rather than initiating a dangerous chase.

But it might be worth trying next time.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of already this year in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raul Castaneda and all his loved ones.

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