Tag Archive for Dominique Rush

Evidence-hiding father Stephen Rush already out of jail; trade in your car for a bike in Woodland Hills

Dj Wheels offers a few legal updates, which I’ll try to catch up on in the next few days.

But one thing sure to get a lot of cyclists’ blood boiling is the news that Steven Rush, sentenced to a wrist-caressing 10 days in jail for helping his daughter Dominique hide evidence in the heartless hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero, is already out from behind bars.

According to Wheels, Rush was taken into custody around noon on March 6th, the day he and Dominique were both sentenced. And released less than two days later, at 6 am on March 8th.

Forty-two hours.

A virtually consequence-free Lindsey Lohan-ish spin through the judicial system.

Yeah, that will certainly send a message to anyone else considering hiding evidence of a crime.

As in go ahead. It’s no big deal. Just another dead cyclist lying in the road.



I love this photo from UK bike blogger Karl McCracken, aka KarlOnSea, clearly demonstrating the harmful environmental effects of bicycling.


Gas prices have you thinking about trading your car for a bike? Now you can.


In a brilliant bit of guerilla marketing, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery is partnering with a nearby car dealer to let you trade your car for a new bike. Just pick out your bike, and go across the street to have your vehicle evaluated for its trade-in value. Then pop back to the bike shop to finish the transaction and ride off on your new bike.

The offer is good next week, starting Monday the 18th and running through Sunday the 25th.

It will be interesting to see if anyone takes advantage of it. And if any of those are new to bicycling.

But either way, the shop deserves credit for using current market conditions to put their name on the map in a big way.


Santa Monica Spoke reminds us of tonight’s Bikes – Ballads – Beers benefit for fellow LACBC affiliate chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition at Little Bar. I won’t be able to make it, but it sounds like a damn fun — and very affordable — bike night.


The USC Cycling Team invites you to join them for a benefit ride on Sunday, March 25th, offering your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty, all starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. The suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

Meanwhile, bike-friendly KCET looks at this weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race.


American Cyclist offers a remarkably one-sided look at helmet use, relying on a largely discredited study citing an 85% reduction in head injuries for riders wearing helmets.

While I am a firm believer in helmet use, they are not magic devices that will miraculously protect the wearer against all harm. They’re most effective for relatively slow speed collisions, since their design standards only dictate protection at impact speeds up to 12.5 mph. And even the best helmet will do nothing to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Don’t get me wrong.

In over 30 years of riding, I’ve only needed my helmet once. And in that case, I’m damn glad I had it.

But let’s be honest about their limitations, and not pretend they can perform miracles.


The great VC debate continues, as former advocate for Vehicular Cycling Rick Risemberg says cyclists should at least operate like vehicles around other riders. The Department of DIY strikes again, as Except Bikes placards suddenly appear on No Parking signs. Gary Kavanagh becomes an official Streetblogger. LADOT offers initial results on wayfinding input, and wants your take on biking through the Sepulveda tunnel under LAX; personally, I don’t even like driving through it. A pink bike may be the key to a murder investigation. Beverly Hills moves forward with a bike route pilot program with no discussion, at least not yet. Cal State Northridge police bust a pair of juvenile bike thieves; they must have really sucked at it to even get noticed. Lincoln Heights bike shop owners consider building a Velodrome for Eastside fixie riders. Altadena gets a five-mile bike boulevard in the new county bike plan. Women on Bikes SoCal interviews Steven Rea, author of Hollywood Rides a Bike. Long Beach will celebrate April Fools Day with a bike scavenger hunt; the city also offers the nation’s largest city-wide discount program for cyclists. Happy 104th birthday to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduno, who may be the worlds oldest living cyclist. Claremont Cyclist looks at last weekend’s Bonelli Park Pro Triple Crown, the U.S. Cup of mountain bike racing. The popular San Gabriel River bike path is getting an upgrade.

Newport Beach police with celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a crackdown on bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicle operators to promote bike safety, followed by another on the 24th; I have no problem with it as long as they focus on all violators, and not just cyclists; thanks to David Huntsman for the tip. San Diego gets a new Bayshore Bikeway, and SD riders are encouraged to help rebuild a beloved children’s bike park. The first leg of the 2012 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will take place next week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic; nice to see women riders finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. Work has begun on a new bike path to connect North and South Camarillo under the 101 Freeway. San Francisco police ignore witnesses and insist a cyclist intentionally crashed into the back of a road raging driver, evidently believing we bike riders are so insane we often crash into cars to get the driver in trouble; maybe this is how they see us. The field is announced for this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Atlantic Cities asks if the bikers’ rights movement is gaining momentum, quoting both L.A. attorney Ross Hirsch and former LADOT Bike Blogger Christopher Kidd. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske compares the lack of cycling support among U.S. officials with the newly found backing from UK MPs. Will Levi’s still be in the bikewear business in two years? A Scottsdale cyclist does everything right, and still gets killed by a possibly inattentive driver. Oregon loses a bike-friendly Republican legislator. Idaho considers a three-foot passing law, while banning two-abreast riding. The hazards of biking in the Chicago suburbs. Sports Illustrated looks at rising BMG cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

After a Canadian cyclist is apparently right hooked, police blame the rider for travelling too fast on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet; good thing drivers don’t have to take any responsibility in the Great White North. An 85-year old cyclist is critically injured by an unmarked police cruiser in bike-unfriendly Toronto; any guess how long they will take to place all the blame on the rider? A 93-year old Scot driver is charged with killing a cyclist celebrating her first anniversary. Scottish cyclists plan a mass ride on Parliament April 28th. UK rabbis declare this the Big Green Jewish Year of the Bicycle, and in an ecumenical gesture, drop in on the Archbishop of Canterbury to say hi. The Guardian asks if British bikes are worth buying — aside from Bromptons and Pashleys, of course; thanks to Evan G for the heads-up. A British solicitor says the common drivers’ excuse that a cyclist came out of nowhere is unacceptable. Surprisingly even-handed advice on how to make the road safer for Australian cyclists. Proposed stickers would warn Aussie drivers to look out for cyclists when opening their doors.

Finally, Volvo introduces a new outside airbag to protect cyclists and pedestrians; it won’t stop a distracted driver from hitting you, but it may hurt a little less. Then again, it will probably only be the most careful drivers who buy it, anyway.

A cold-hearted killer driver — and her father — goes to jail, yet justice seems hollow

Today it became final.

A little over 10 months after 17-year old high school student Alex Romero was run down in a high speed hit-and-run — and long after many of us had given up on seeing justice in this case — Dominique Rush was sentenced to prison for leaving him to die in the street.

Fortunately, the police never gave up — despite the efforts of her father to hide evidence linking Dominique to the crime. He was also sentenced to jail Tuesday for having the car repaired, then sent to a junkyard to keep it hidden from police.

Frankly, I don’t know which disturbs me more.

A young woman snuffing out the life of a popular and promising young man, then fleeing like a cold-blooded coward. Or a father who goes out of his way to help his daughter avoid responsibility.

And don’t even try to pretend that any parent would do the same thing. My father would have marched me into the nearest police station for a lot less than that.

As reported here by cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels, Dominique and her father accepted a plea deal in January that will put her behind bars for two years and eight months for vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene, while father Steven Rush will serve just 10 days in jail as an accessory after the fact.

According to Wheels, Dominique was given credit for time served and good behavior, slicing over 300 days off her sentence. The L.A. Daily News notes her time will be served in county jail as part of the state’s prison realignment program.

In addition to 10 days in jail, Steven was sentenced to three years in jail and 30 days of community service. Hopefully, he’ll do his service somewhere he can see the results of drivers like his daughter, so the magnitude of his actions may actually sink in.

Wheels, who was in the courtroom Tuesday, reports that it was very painful and emotional to listen to the testimony from family members, who showed 20 minutes of family photos. He says Dominique wept openly during the slideshow, while her father showed little emotion.

KCBS-2 reports that Dominique offered a tearful apology.

“I’ll never be able to forgive myself,” said Rush. “And I’m sorry for all the pain that I caused his family.”

Bizarrely, KCBS also reports that, despite their actions, Stephen insisted that there was no attempt to coverup the crime.

Her father also apologized. “IT was never our intention to hide, or stay away from anything,” he said.

Nice to know they weren’t trying to hide anything in the four months police were searching for the driver and the car they had junked after having it repaired.

According to KCBS, Romero’s mother considers the sentences punishment fair for the crimes committed.

I don’t.

Less than three years seems like a very generous sentence for taking the life of another human being, then fleeing the scene and trying to destroy the evidence. But that just goes to show how lenient our traffic laws are, especially when it comes to hit-and-run.

And just 10 days for the attempted coverup is an inexplicable gift for which her father should be eternally grateful.

Alex received the death penalty for their actions.

And his family suffered a loss in their hearts and lives that can never be filled.

Thanks to the LAPD and all the officers involved in this investigation, as well as the prosecutors who helped get justice for the Romero family. The Rushes are behind bars tonight because the police refused to give up on this case.


A group of cyclists lead by leading L.A. bike advocate Roadblock met with the L.A. Police Commission Tuesday morning to request that hit-and-run collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians be taken more seriously by police.

And yes, I was one of them, along with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition staff member Bobby Gadda, to represent the LACBC. As well more than a dozen others who took time out of their day to fight for greater safety on our streets.

The Commissioners and Chief Beck were very receptive, and have asked for specific examples of cases where people feel the police weren’t responsive enough or didn’t take their case seriously.

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run and weren’t satisfied with the police response, let me know and I’ll forward your story to the right people in the department. You can find my email address on the About BikingInLA page.

Update: Bicycle Fixation’s Richard Risemberg forwards news of yet another violent hit-and-run, in which a 91-year old woman was critically injured in Lincoln Heights, and left lying  in the street by the heartless coward behind the wheel.

Evidently, the was operating two vehicles at once, as the Times reports police are looking for a white Toyota or beige Honda Accord with a cracked windshield and front bumper damage. The driver is described as a Latina between between 53 and 58 years old, weighing around 170 pounds.

This has got to stop.

Breaking news — Dominique and Stephen Rush accept a plea deal in hit-and-run death of Alex Romero

Big news on the legal front.

According to courtroom reports from cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels, Dominique Rush, the driver charged with the hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero, will spend the next few years behind bars.

Wheels, who was in the courtroom for today’s preliminary hearing, reports the 23-year old Rush entered a plea of No Contest to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.

Her father, Steven Rush, also entered a plea of No Contest to being an accessory after the fact for his efforts in helping his daughter cover-up her crime.

Romero was riding north along De Soto Avenue with a friend on the night of April 20th when he was struck by a speeding car near the intersection with Valerio Street. The driver, later identified as Rush, reportedly tried to pass another vehicle on the right, striking Romero’s bike from behind and killing him instantly before speeding off without stopping or slowing down.

That began a months-long investigation in which the police soon identified Rush as the suspect, but were unable to find the 2003 Toyota Corolla she’d been driving at the time.

According to the police, that difficulty was due, at least in part, to her father’s efforts. As KNBC-4 reported at the time of the arrest,

“The father went way beyond taking care of his child,” said Capt. Ivan Minsal of LAPD Valley Traffic Division. “He concealed the information. He concealed the car that his daughter, the driver, was driving.”

Now they’ll both have to pay for their crimes.

Wheels reports that Dominique will be sentenced to two years and eight months in prison on March 6th, while her father will receive 10 days in jail, along with 30 days on a Caltrans road crew.

I hope he works on a roadway where he’ll have to watch a lot of cyclists go by.

And yes, that sentence is a relative slap on the wrist for running down another human being and leaving him to die in the street where he fell. Maybe someday someone can explain to me how anyone could do that to another person.

Anyone with a heart, anyway.

But it may be the best prosecutors could do under the circumstances.

The fact is, this is one case the police didn’t give up on. Maybe it was pressure from the cycling community. Or maybe it was dedication to their jobs, and a commitment to keep going until they had the guilty party behind bars.

The LAPD investigators in charge of this case kept at it long after they could have given up and pushed it off the back burner. And long after many of us had given up on this case.

That they didn’t says a lot about them.

And the gratitude we all owe them on Alex’ behalf.

Wheels reports that his aunt Matilda addressed the court, saying Alex was a precious gift from God, and asking Dominique to repent. He says Dominique cried during the aunt’s comments, while Steven was tearful but composed.

I’m sure they’ll shed more tears in the days and years to come.

But it won’t begin to compare with the tears that have already been shed by Romero’s family and friends.


A couple other notes from Dj Wheels.

He reports that Jeffrey Ray Adams, the road raging driver charged with intentionally cutting off a cyclist in Santa Monica — then ranting about it as the camera rolled — had a preliminary hearing last Friday. The court found there was enough evidence to take the case before a jury; he’ll have a felony arraignment in a couple of weeks.

And a restitution hearing was held Tuesday in the case of Jaclyn Andrea Garcia, the underage driver charged with nearly killing cyclist Adam Rybicki last April when she collided with a group of Sunday morning riders while still drunk from the night before.

She may have gotten off with a slap on the wrist at her sentencing. But the judge lowered the boom in assigning restitution, ordering Garcia to pay $16,162,239.24.

Yes, that’s 16 million, one-hundred-sixty-two-thousand, two-hundred-thirty-nine dollars. And twenty-four cents change.

On top of that, she was ordered to pay 10% annual interest until the amount is paid in full.

Although I suspect they might be willing to write off that last 24 cents.

Which means that unless she’s phenomenally successful, Garcia will likely be working for the Rybickis for the remainder of her life. And that is a heavy price to pay for a night of youthful stupidity.

Yet it doesn’t begin to make up for what Garcia has put Adam Rybicki and his family through.

Speaking of Adam, Jim Lyle sends word that he continues to make slow, steady progress in recovery from his injuries. And that he’s back on a bike — even if it is a stationary bike in rehab.

That’s a lot more than most of us would have expected — or even dared to hope — just nine months ago. He’s clearly one tough, determined guy, with a support circle that refuses to give up.

I hope you’ll join me in offering my best wishes and prayers for Adam and his family for a full recovery. 

Breaking news: Dominique Rush — and father — arrested in hit-and-run death of Alex Romero

Funny how things work sometimes.

For the past few months, I’ve known the identity of the woman accused of killing 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero last April, thanks to a comment that was left on here.

And the last couple of weeks, I’ve known that an arrest was imminent, and that a family member was likely to be arrested for helping her coverup the crime.

But when the news finally broke, I was couple hours from home in the middle of bike ride. Which means I got scooped by just about every news source in Los Angeles.

That’s okay, though. Because the good news is that the LAPD investigators never gave up, even when it looked like they might never get the evidence they needed to make an arrest, let alone get a conviction.

So when I got a call from LAPD Sgt. Krumer to let me know that 23-year old Dominique Rush had finally been arrested in Oxnard for the high speed hit-and-run collision that took Romero’s life, I was happy that Alex and his family would finally see justice for his needless death.

And a little heartbroken when he added that the family member accused of helping to cover up the crime was her own father, 44-year old Steven Rush.

After all, what kind of man learns that his child has just taken the life of another human being, then — allegedly — goes out of his way to help her hide the evidence and avoid responsibility for her actions?

According to KNBC-4,

“The father went way beyond taking care of his child,” said Capt. Ivan Minsal of LAPD Valley Traffic Division. “He concealed the information. He concealed the car that his daughter, the driver, was driving.”

Maybe my own father was the exception.

But I’d like to think that most fathers would have marched their child into the police station to take responsibility for the crime. Maybe after calling a lawyer first.

I know mine would have, as much as it would have broken his heart.

Dominique was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, with a $100,000 bond; Steven was held on a $20,000 bond. No word on whether they are still in custody.

Honestly, I don’t know which act I find more appalling. The crime, or the coverup.

I’m only glad that both may now be held accountable.

And I thank the LAPD for making sure they didn’t get away with it.