Maybe there will be justice for Woon after all.
I received the following email from an anonymous correspondent at yesterday’s scheduled prelim for Mariah Kandise Banks, charged with the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier and the attempted coverup that followed.
The People have filed an amended complaint against Ms. Banks in which the charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence has been upgraded to felony.
Judge Lynne Hobbs thanked Ms. Banks for being on time this morning. Alas, the prelim was trailed yet again.
The judge inquired about the prosecution’s previous request for an increase in bail due to the accused’s alleged harassment of the victim’s family (and frankly, she seemed willing and prepared to grant it). The prosecutor stated that she had spoken to the victim’s family two days ago and had received no further reports of harassment, so the bail stands as-is.
Ms. Banks was her usual muttery self as she exited the courtroom.
The increased charges mean Banks now faces six years for felony vehicular manslaughter, rather than one year for the misdemeanor count.
That’s in addition to a possible four years for felony hit-and-run.
However, it’s unlikely she’ll serve anywhere near that. The LA district attorney’s office has a well-deserved reputation for bargaining charges down to avoid a trial.
If Banks is smart, she’ll drop the attitude and cop a plea. And maybe get out in a couple years, rather than risk serving the full dime behind bars.
Photo of Frederick “Woon” Frazier taken from his original crowdfunding page.
This is who we share the road with.
A popular West Hollywood drag queen says a driver fled the scene after apparently running him down on purpose as he was leaving a bar with friends two weeks ago.
The victim, Sasha Markgraf, says he was the only member of the group dressed in an effeminate manner.
In addition to being a drag performer and singer, Markgraf is also a costume designer. When he left the bar with his friends to cross Larrabee Street after 2 a.m. he was wearing high heels and suspects the driver may have intentionally hit him.
“It’s sad to say but I think he was coming straight for us. He didn’t have to go right. He didn’t have to veer to the right,” Markgraf says.
A crowdfunding page says the driver turned on his car as Markgraf stepped off the curb and revved his engine before plowing into him. So far, it’s raised just $2,100 of the $50,000 goal.
Unfortunately, the only description of the car is a silver Honda Civic. There’s no description available for the driver.
Lets hope they catch this jerk before he or she tries to kill someone else.
And maybe succeeds next time.
Another crowdfunding page is raising money to buy a new bike for an Active SGV staff member whose bike was stolen, along with her panniers, wallet and clothes, at last Sunday’s CicLAvia.
So far it’s raised nearly $300 of the modest $500 goal.
There’s no shortage of bighearted people in today’s news.
When the bike a Salem, Oregon man used as his primary form of transportation was stolen, his friends in the trading card community pitched in to buy him a new one.
The bike an Ohio man used as transpiration for himself and his one-year old daughter was stolen just two days into his new job, so his Walmart coworkers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike and trailer for someone they barely knew, and most had never met.
A Pennsylvania man rode his bike across the US, raising $11,000 for a pair of small-town animal rescues.
Great piece about a British Columbia bike shop owner and inventor who earned the Lanterne Rouge in the 1955 Tour de France, joining another rider as the first British cyclists to finish the tour; after moving to Canada, he built the wheelchair used on an around-the-world journey, as well as refurbishing bicycles to give to those in need. Sadly, he died of cancer on Saturday.
Then again, some people would rather help themselves. After a thief stole the bicycle a nine-year old English boy got for his birthday, he set out to do odd jobs around town until he earned enough to buy a new one.
As we noted yesterday, LADOT is looking for volunteers for the city’s first-ever official bike and pedestrian count later this month, as well as using traffic cameras for part of the count. Volunteers are needed to count bicycles in Long Beach, too.
A pair of LA Times readers shake a metaphorical fist at the paper for celebrating the death of the High Desert Corridor through the Antelope Valley.
A 67-year old San Diego man was rear-ended on his bike in broad daylight, suffering what was described as a non-life-threatening brain bleed. A witness said he “came out of nowhere,” which is just another way of saying you weren’t paying attention.
The student newspaper at San Diego State University says the school made a bad decision in banning e-scooters and other micromobility devices, based on bad data and with little student input.
A Santa Barbara man was critically injured when he was hit head-on rounding a curve after allegedly drifting onto the wrong side of the road; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.
Bicycling hosts a debate on whether someone on a bicycle is a cyclist or a biker. Apparently, a person riding a bicycle wasn’t an option.
A medical columnist says if you really want to avoid pain when you ride, hie thee to a bike fitter. Though he might not have phrased it quite that way.
A Hawaiian advocacy group will host a Noodle Ride, with participants using pool noodles to call attention to the three-foot passing law.
Seriously? An Oregon letter-writer says she’s fine with one bike lane, but why do bicyclists need one going the opposite direction on the other side of the street, as well?
Albuquerque paramedics are using bicycles to get through the crowds at the city’s annual hot air balloon festival.
Good advice. After surviving a serious collision while riding her bike, a Boulder CO woman says you should take published reports in the media with a massive grain of salt. Like this one, for instance.
A Houston man is dead after a cop driving at high speed — and without lights and sirens — slammed into him in a crash caught on dashboard video from a car parked nearby. In a tragic irony, the city launched a prescheduled campaign just hours later, calling on drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users.
A writer for Streetsblog Chicago says he’s willing to bury the hatchet after a city alderman backs down on his threat to ban bikes from the Riverwalk. But he wants those illegal Bicycles Must Be Walked signs taken down.
A Minnesota man just finished riding every public street in his county.
A Pittsburgh man is making his third official attempt to set a new handcycle 24-hour record. The paraplegic athlete set an unofficial record of 407.7 miles in 2016, breaking the existing record of 403.8; however, the track wasn’t certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, so it didn’t count.
Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a 73-year old woman was killed in a left cross collision, and the driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket. There’s something seriously wrong when needlessly taking the life of another person amounts to nothing more than a simple traffic violation.
Cycling Tips says a British Columbia bikemaker is setting a new standard for environmental sustainability in the bicycle industry.
Heartbreaking story from Hamilton, Ontario, where a 14-year old boy was stabbed to death by a pair of brothers as his mother watched, after he had confronted the other boys for allegedly stealing his bicycle.
Life is cheap in Wales, too, where a woman got off with just 27 months behind bars for drunkenly driving “like a maniac” and plowing into four members of a family out for a bike ride, then fleeing the scene; one of her victims was lucky to survive. So naturally, she blamed the entire thing on her boyfriend.
A British truck driver was convicted of careless driving in the death of a bike-riding doctor; his view was obstructed by a dashboard tray full of ornaments and other items.
In news for my fellow diabetics, a new Australian study shows that while diabetics are prone to heatstroke, you can reduce your risk by training in the heat for a week in advance.
Baltimore will host a one-day ProSeries race — one rung below the WorldTour — for the next three years.
Cycling’s governing body says it’s going to work with riders to improve safety in time for next year’s cycling season. If they really want to improve safety, they’ll get team cars and race motorcycles out of the peloton, and require riders to wait until someone can catch up for assistance.
Nothing like circus friends to borrow a bike from. Apparently, there’s no bike lane that can’t be turned into a parking lot.
And nothing like turning a Santa Clarita bike path into your personal brass knuckle fight club.