Tag Archive for attempted murder

Driver identified in Portland rampage that left 1 dead and 10 injured, and AAA says it’s crash not accident

We finally know who was — allegedly — responsible for the murderous vehicular rampage that left a 77-year old Portland woman dead, and as many as ten others injured.

And why, sort of.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, including second degree murder and multiple assault and hit-and-run charges.

Unbelievably — literally — he had shifting explanations for why he intentionally ran down so many people, most of whom were walking or riding bicycles.

Rivas initially claimed his Honda Element was having brake problems and that he was searching for an auto repair shop.

Other times, he suggested the injuries could have been inflicted by “another, similar looking” Honda car, not his; and he admitted at one point to striking a bicyclist but characterized the collision as an “emergency maneuver” he made to avoid a more serious crash with oncoming traffic, Multnomah County prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

This despite running down the elderly woman as she was crossing the street, then making a U-turn and slamming into her again, dragging her to her death under his SUV.

Yeah, sounds like bad brakes, all right.

The descriptions of his attacks are simply horrific.

Donald Hinson was riding his bicycle on Southeast 18th Avenue when the Honda “drove straight at him without slowing,” sending him and his bicycle onto the hood of the Honda. He fell onto the street and suffered injuries to his leg and a cut to his nose, the affidavit said…

Raymond Chihak said he was on the sidewalk near Southeast 19th Avenue and Stark when he heard screaming. That’s when he noticed the Honda speeding directly toward him. It struck him as he stood on the sidewalk, he said, then sped off, according to the affidavit. Chihak also was treated for his injuries at a hospital.

Bicyclist Juan Caicedo-Gomez was riding in the bike lane on Southeast Belmont Street when the Honda swerved into the lane and hit him from behind, throwing him off his bicycle, according to police.

Pedestrian Faviola Palomera said she was walking in Laurelhurst Park and saw the Honda doing U-turns nearby. “The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital,” with a head injury after she had been knocked unconscious when the Honda was seen driving out of the park and struck her while walking, according to her statement to police and a witness’ account, the affidavit said.

Yet those are just a few of the victims who were lucky enough to survive.

And yes, those were real people.

https://twitter.com/mckra1g/status/1354525420503396352

That crowdfunding campaign to replace their bikes and help with medical expenses has raised nearly $1,000 of the modest $4,000 goal.

After repeated denials, Rivas finally admitted to detectives that he was the one behind the wheel of the killer SUV.

According to police, he denied drug or alcohol use and did not appear to be under the influence, leading them to suspect he suffered from some sort of mental illness or physical ailment.

Let’s hope it’s enough to keep him off the road for the rest of his life.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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That sudden chill you feel is hell freezing over.

Update: It turns out that statement wasn’t from the national AAA; instead, it came from the organization’s second largest affiliate group

But still, it’s a start.

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Your periodic reminder that being one of the greatest cyclists of all time wasn’t even close to the most important accomplishment of Gino Bartali’s life.

Bartali is credited with saving dozens, if not hundreds, of Jews during WWII as he transported forged documents hidden in the frame of his bike.

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But at least you can tell the cop it was gluten free.

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When life gives you a geyser, take a shower.

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And no hands, no less.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

That other chill you feel is formerly auto-centric Caltrans asking for your input on creating long-distance carfree bicycle highways in the Bay Area. Now if they could just get around to it down here in SoCal, where the weather is usually more conducive to year-round riding.

Calbike is sponsoring AB 117 in the state legislature, which would create a $10 million fund to provide incentives for ebike purchases; you can sign a petition to support the bill hereAlthough something tells me they could probably go through that much in the first week alone.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy organization sings the praises of Quick-Build Projects, saying it’s more equitable to vet a project on the ground than on paper. It also sidesteps the endless series of angry meetings that allow NIMBYs to kill much-needed safety improvements simply by showing up and screaming en masse.

 

National

Your next Lime scooter could be a mo-ped.

A bike industry op-ed says promoting diversity in bicycling must be more than just a gesture.

Utah considers adopting the Idaho Stop Law, as a legislative committee votes 8 to 3 to pass it on to the full state house, even if state transportation officials don’t exactly like the idea.

He gets it. A Montana columnist says before you try to pass an expensive and unnecessary bike safety law, try talking with some actual bicyclists first.

An Ohio city manager responds to an online petition to yank out a new bike lane by saying just give it a chance, already.

A New York councilmember calls on the city to develop a real-time map showing where bike lanes are blocked. Wouldn’t a better solution be to just keep them from being blocked in the first place?

No bias here. After a New York driver gets “terrorized” by a bunch of teenaged bike riders, a state legislator calls for a new law to help police pinpoint cellphone 911 calls. But bike riders get terrorized by drivers on a daily basis, and no one cares.

 

International

Nothing like a little Chilean mountain biking in a total eclipse.

Once again, a bike rider can credit his Apple Watch with saving his life, after it automatically dialed the equivalent of 911 when he was swept away by an English river.

Britain’s Independent professes to tell you how to pick the right kind of bike for the way you’ll ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 88-year old man walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after a judge sentenced sentenced him to a lousy 16-week curfew.

Sad news from Dublin, where a teenaged boy was stabbed to death when he attempted to intervene in an argument over a stolen bicycle.

A Mumbai teen hangs a banner thanking the police for recovering her bicycle less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

When an Indian boy’s bike was stolen after his disabled father had struggled to buy it, a kindhearted government minister stepped in to buy him a new one.

 

Competitive Cycling

It looks like former USA Cycling Team member, Orange County attorney and frequent BikinginLA contributor David Huntsman’s son is following in his dad’s tread tracks, as Eddy Huntsman joins three other new riders on the Continental Tour Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team. Thanks to proud papa David for the heads-up.

Bicycling says we should celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s sabbatical from the pro peloton. As usual, you can find it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you unsuccessfully try to make your getaway by bike after stealing a car while high on meth, then returning it and fighting with the owner. That feeling when you get drunk and ride your bike on the freeway.

And maybe this is why she wouldn’t return your call.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Wicksted gets 16-years for intentional killing of Claremont bike rider, and popular wheel light maker goes belly up

Sixteen years.

That’s the price a Claremont woman will pay for running down and murdering a bike-riding stranger with her car.

Sixty-three-year old Sandra Marie Wicksted agreed to a deal to plead no contest after prosecutors took a murder charge off the table for intentionally running down 54-year old Leslie Pray as she was riding her bike in Claremont two years ago.

She was also charged with swerving her car at two other people riding bikes in separate incidents before slamming into Pray.

Wicksted copped to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, along with two counts of attempted murder.

What remains unanswered, however, is the most basic question of all.

Why?

What could possibly have convinced Wicksted to try to kill not one, not two, but three total strangers for no other reason than they were riding bicycles?

We’ll probably never know.

But now an innocent woman is dead because of it.

And Wicksted has thrown away what’s left of her own life.

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Sad news from popular wheel light maker MonkeyLetric, which is closing out its remaining inventory and going out of business, at least for the foreseeable future.

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Local

A 20-year old man was hospitalized after a driver hit his bike while riding in Canyon Country; no word on the victim’s condition.

This is who we share the road with. A new lawsuit accuses an LA County sheriff’s deputy of drunk driving and street racing in the Torrance crash that killed a 23-year old passenger in his car.

 

State

San Diego adopts a new Complete Communities plan, including fees for developers in the city’s most car-dependent areas, which will be used to build bike and pedestrian projects in denser urban areas.

San Jose wants to know how residents want to get around in the years to come.

Palo Alto will keep two key streets carfree through next May.

Yes, please. A proposal before San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors would make it harder to delay projects by filing an appeal under California’s CEQA air quality laws, a process that has been abused in recent years to halt bikeways and transit projects.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick argues the city has abandoned Vision Zero in its cost-saving cutbacks to the Better Market Street project, suggesting it should now be renamed Bummer Market Street.

 

National

GQ recommends the best bike gear for “persnickety” bicycle riders caught up in the pandemic bike boom. Meanwhile, Gear Patrol says these bikes and accessories prove the future is now.

Next time you’re in Seattle, hop the ferry to the Bainbridge Island Cycle Museum, where you can see exhibits like a rare three-wheeled lawnmower bike and a signed yellow jersey worn by He Who Must Not Be Named.

Maybe there’s hope for LA bike riders yet, after Chicago finally opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge 15 years after it was blocked by a city alderman.

Speaking of Chicago, a local magazine considers former mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prospects for serving as US transportation secretary.

An Ohio man was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for the distracted driving death of a prominent lawyer who was riding his bike, while the driver was high on opiates.

The bike-riding Virginia woman who was elected county supervisor after flipping off Trump’s motorcade says it’s time to heal now that Joe Biden has been elected president; needless to say, not everyone agrees.

 

International

A Colombian college student was knocked off his bike and severely beaten by thieves when he chose to avoid traffic by riding a bike path through a dark tunnel known locally as “the tunnel of death” for its high crime rate.

A London bait bike leads police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes with individual values as high as $6,600.

British bikemaker Dawes tells its popular Galaxy touring bikes to hit the road after 49 years.

An essential worker in the UK had his bike replaced by a kindhearted stranger after it was stolen while he was working.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof agrees to hobble their bikes in the European Union, where ebikes are restricted to 15 mph, rather than the 20 mph limit allowed in the US.

Now that’s more like it. A new Spanish law will restrict speed limits to 18 mph in urban areas, and just 12 mph in spaces shared with bike riders and pedestrians.

The bike boom has hit Indonesia, as well, as residents share their experiences riding in the age of Covid-19.

Join the club. A third of New Zealanders think drivers are going too fast on their streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Primož Roglič’s victory in the Vuelta has pulled it out at the wire, beating Tour de France champ and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar for the #1 spot in the UCI World Ranking for 2020, while Anna van der Breggen topped the women’s list. No American made the top ten on either list.

American world time trial champ Chloe Dygert says she’ll do whatever it takes to heal in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after suffering a horrific gash to her left quad that severed 80% of the muscle. She’ll be riding for the Canyon-SRAM women’s team next year.

Cycling Weekly recalls ten unforgettable moments of the 2020 cycling season.

 

Finally…

Seriously, just slow the hell down around slower or less experienced bicyclists and pedestrians. Never a good idea to punch a traffic cop, even if they did just door you.

And probably not the best idea to have your six-year old daughter act as lookout before making a bike-borne escape from a shoplifting spree.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: LAPD shames walkers, Mexico City driver’s anti-bike rampage, and former ‘cross star makes music

Apologies for my tardiness.

The hosting service I use went down just as I was getting this ready ready to publish. When it still wasn’t back by 4:30 this morning, I gave up and went to bed. 

Which means they probably got it back online by 4:35. 

Barring any more disruptions, we’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow. 

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The LAPD has already reached a new height — or maybe low — in victim shaming under new chief Michael Moore.

Under a new insurance company-sponsored initiative , the department will distribute 1,200 hi-viz reflective vests and clip-on lights to people stopped for jaywalking.

Because, as we all know, it’s far better to make regular people dress up like clowns than actually expect drivers to slow down like the law requires and look away from their smartphones long enough to see what the hell is in the road in front of them.

Or, you know, actually build an adequate number of safe crosswalks so people don’t have to cross without one, or anything.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

And worldwide.

A road raging driver in Mexico City was injured — along with his intended victim, a restaurant hostess and two diners at an open air cafe — when he used his truck as a weapon in a attempt to run down a bike rider.

After arguing with a man on a bike, he slammed his pickup into reverse, striking the bike rider, then smashed into a parked car. Both vehicles appear to have crashed into the restaurant before coming to rest against a tree.

Let’s hope Mexican authorities charge the driver with four counts of attempted murder. And don’t write this off as just another crash.

Note: If you don’t read Spanish, you’ll have to translate the link, like I did. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Twenty-one year old former junior cyclocross star Gavin Haley is making a name for himself as a musician as he tours the Golden State.

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It’s Day 7 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

LA County is studying how to create harmony between e-scooters, bikeshare bikes, cars and pedestrians in unincorporated communities and county roads.

It looks like a new bike lane is coming to Stewart Street in Santa Monica.

Pomona residents recommend separated bike lanes and a shared bike and pedestrian path to improve access to a proposed Gold Line Metro station — if it’s ever built.

 

State

A Contra Costa County judge has blocked bike access through an East Bay country club, denying riders a long-time bypass route to avoid a dangerous roadway.

New parking protected bike lanes in Sacramento are filling up with wet, slippery leaves that can pose a risk to the riders using them.

The bighearted people at a Nevada County bicycle recycling project have donated 30 rebuilt bikes to victims of Northern California’s Camp Fire.

 

National

CNET says e-scooters could be sending as many as one thousand people to the ER every month, based on figures they apparently just made up.

Colorado’s playground for the rich and famous is trying to get ahead of the curve by writing regulations for e-scooters, even though no one’s offered to put them there yet.

What’s left of a Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the speeding, out-of-control driver who killed their wife and mother as she was participating in a randonneuring event. Naturally, the driver claims the sun was in his eyes. Which doesn’t explain why his foot was on the gas pedal.

When is an ebike not a bicycle? Evidently, when you’re in Ohio’s Amish Country, where people seem to be freaking out about them.

New York food delivery riders are organizing to fight for healthcare after one of the workers died from an untreated ulcer.

After New York councilmembers call for legalizing ebikes and e-scooters, Streetsblog says the city’s mayor, who opposes the measure, is blind to the real dangers on the streets. And it ain’t the people on two wheels, battery powered or otherwise.

Apparently, a New Jersey community has a lot of kindhearted cops. After a Roxbury police officer bought a man a used bike as he watched him commute in all kinds of weather on a rusted bike, he bought him a new one after that one wore out. Only to  learn that the man’s original bike had been a gift from another officer.

Bicycling says a close-knit cycling community is in mourning, following the crash that killed two Florida bike riders.

A 415-pound Puerto Rican man took up bicycling to lose 20 pounds, and ended up riding 27,000 miles and losing 167 pounds. And quit smoking, too.

 

International

Turns out even the best air pollution masks filter out less than half of the particles they’re exposed to. Which doesn’t sound much better than tying a bandana around your face.

Forbes says cargo bikes, not drones, are the future of delivery.

A Quebec letter writer says laws requiring drivers to use snow tires in the winter are ineffective. So we should extend them to bike riders, too.

You just can’t please some people. Montreal-area drivers are complaining that a new separated bike path is impeding traffic on the nearby roadway, even though officials didn’t actually remove any traffic lanes or reduce capacity to make room for it.

No bias here. Over a thousand tickets were issued to London motorists for distracted driving or not having insurance during a two-week crackdown on dangerous driving. Yet somehow, the headline was about the 519 bike riders who got tickets, too.

No bias here, either. A study commissioned by a pressure group dedicated to the removal of one of London’s cycle superhighways has found that it’s costing businesses the equivalent of $6.8 million a year. Even though no other study has found that it even causes traffic congestion, let alone huge loses due to it.

They get it. Over two-thirds of the residents of Perth, Scotland call for improving safety for bicyclists by installing protected bike lanes, even if that means less space for drivers.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a fondo in sunny Saint-Tropez. Unless you’d rather ride on the riverfront bike paths of Taipei.

A new Swiss study shows that switching to an active commute can help you lose weight, but says it isn’t clear if that applies to ebikes, as well. But a Norwegian study shows ebike riders exert almost as much energy as regular bike riders.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a drunk, speeding teenager who was driving without a license got just 25 months for killing a man as he was riding his bicycle.

A former Australian football great was injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African pro cyclist Willie Smit donated the equivalent of over $43,000 in bicycles and equipment to a Cape Town cycling academy dedicated to serving underprivileged kids.

Former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbot tells her own story of how even the best roadies can make the worst mountain bikers.

 

Finally…

Tres shock! Bike riders sometimes look at billboards and pretty people. When in Amsterdam, do like the Dutch and watch out for bikes.

And your next bike helmet could help prevent concussions, and call for help if it doesn’t.

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

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We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

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Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

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