Tag Archive for gangs

14-year old cyclist shot and killed in South L.A.

In yet another heartbreaking case of apparent gang violence, a 14-year old kid is murdered while riding his bike in South L.A.

According to the LAPD, he was riding around the intersection of St. Andrews Place and 87th Street around 7:25 pm last night when a gunman shot him from behind. And as usual, it’s the details that are most saddening, as the police note he dropped his bike and attempted to run before collapsing about a block away.

14-Year-Old Boy Shot While Riding His Bicycle

A 14-year-old Black male, has been shot to death while riding his bicycle.

On Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at about 7:25 p.m., the teenage victim was riding his bicycle around Saint Andrews Place and 87th Street. An unknown suspect(s) approached the victim from behind and started shooting at him. The victim was hit by the gunfire, then dropped his bicycle on the street and started to run. He collapsed around the 1800 block of 87th Street.

The suspect(s) ran in an unknown direction. Detectives believe the motive for this crime is gang related, however, there is no suspect description at this time.

Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded to the location and transported the victim to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD 77th Street Area Criminal Gang and Homicide Division Detectives Eric Crosson or Samuel Arnold at (213) 485-1383. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.

Another life wasted. Another young man who will never grow up.

Another future wiped out and another family destroyed in a single moment of insanity.

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Two local riders are shot in separate incidents Saturday morning

It’s bad enough that we have to dodge distracted drivers and oversized SUVs without worrying about getting shot. But that’s L.A. for you.

A rider was shot in the back in Highland Park last night when participants in a Midnight Ridazz ride were confronted by a group of reputed gang members. Evidently, events escalated after the riders were taunted as they passed a house, and some of the riders responded in kind.

According to posts on the Ridazz forum, the victim may have been saved when the bullet passed through his backpack; at last word, he had been treated and released, though surgery may be needed at a later date to remove the bullet. In addition, another rider was knocked off her bike, and one or more bikes may have been stolen.

At almost exactly the same time, another rider was also shot in the back, this time in Pacoima. According to police, the victim is expected to survive.

My heart and prayers go out to both victims, with wishes for a speedy recovery.

If you have any information on either shooting, please contact the police.

And be careful out there. Because cars and trucks that go bump in the night aren’t the only things you have to watch out for.

So here’s the problem.

Here’s the problem with bicycling in L.A. (Okay, one of the problems.) Unlike other places I’ve lived, there’s really no great place to ride here.

What should be L.A.’s crown jewel – the beachfront bike path that runs from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades down past Redondo Beach – is so clogged with pedestrians and drunken tourists (is that redundant?) that it’s almost impassible at times. The lower section, below the marina, is usually better. But the upper section, through Santa Monica and Venice, is so bad that it’s not even worth riding if you can’t get there before noon. And most riders just avoid it entirely from Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Even if you wanted to ride it, the problem is getting there.

Some people try riding the major streets like Santa Monica, Wilshire or Olympic Boulevards, which is akin to playing Russian Roulette with five live rounds.

The Ballona Creek bike trail, which runs from Culver City all the way to the coast, should be a freeway for the velo crowd. But the need to swerve around all the homeless encampments and drunks passed out in your pathway kind of limits its ride-ability. As does the fact that it runs through some of the most dangerous, crime and gang-infested neighborhoods in the city. (Evidently, I’m not the only one to notice this sort of problem.) So if a nice young man with facial tattoos stops to admire your bike, I’d suggest giving it to him. Seriously.

You can get to the beach by taking the bike lanes on Colorado, if you don’t mind stopping every few blocks and dodging buses once you get below 4th. Or you can try avoiding all the oblivious drivers with their surgically attached cell phones on Montana.

But the best, and most popular, route to the coast is the bike lanes along San Vicente Blvd. Unlike most of L.A., the drivers on San Vicente are used to seeing bicyclists, so they usually drive safely, and there are no stops signs, and only two stop lights, giving you a safe, fast ride. But even here you can have problems, like when a construction or film crew takes over the bike lane for no apparent reason, forcing you to compete with drivers for the limited space remaining in the traffic lanes.

And don’t even get me started on riding PCH through Malibu.

Sure, it’s flat and scenic, making it one of the area’s most popular rides. But with narrow – or sometimes no – shoulders on the road, high speed traffic, countless cars turning right in or out of driveways, and frequent construction sites that force riders into traffic lanes – which resulted in the death of two riders a couple years ago – it’s often more demolition derby than relaxing ride.

Sure, I used to ride it anyway, like everyone else. But these days, my wife insists that I come home in one piece.

Go figure.

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