Most times, we’re just happy when charges are filed against a driver for killing or injuring a cyclist.
No matter slight, because it beats the all too frequent alternative in which dangerous motorists drive off to do it again, without even a bruise on their wrists.
Which makes it very surprising when the DA not only files charges, but actually re-files to bring enhanced charges — and stiffer penalties — against a driver in a criminal case.
But that’s exactly what happened in the case of Michael Roach, accused of contributing to the crash that critically injured Huntington Beach cyclist Richard Lauwers last January.
Lauwers was riding home on a beachfront bike path when he became collateral damage in a street racing collision between 57-year old Glenn Michael Moore and 36-year old Michael Roach.
In other words, two men old enough to know better.
Thankfully, Lauwers survived, if barely.
In fact, he’s reported to have recovered from his injuries, and resumed riding his bike around his hometown.
An anonymous source reports on the enhanced charges against Roach. And notes that it wasn’t his first offense.
Michael Dennis (“Speed Racer”) Roach was previously charged with a single violation of 23109 (engaging in a speed contest) in the January incident that put cyclist Richard Lauwers in critical care for six days.
That charge has been dropped. The case has been refiled with different charges. The new charges are 23109.1 (DUI with injury) along with an enhancement of inflicting great bodily harm, and 23109.1 (engaging in a speed contest, with injuries to another). Roach has pled not guilty to both and posted $50,000 bond.
It gets more curious.
Ten years ago, he was arrested and charged with four separate misdemeanors in that case:
- 23152(b)…….DUI with a BAC of .08% or greater
- 20002(a)…….Hit & run with property damage
- 14601.1(a)….Driving on a suspended license
He pled not guilty to 23152(a), and that charge was dismissed. For the others, he was sentenced to a total of 50 days in jail and three years of informal probation, and his license was restricted for 90 days. He then violated his probation (I dunno for what), and earned another fun 30 days in jail. His probation was reinstated, and during this time, he was also cited for speeding and failure to show proof of registration, in separate instances, although neither seems to have affected his probation. His history of recklessness probably has something to do with the new, improved charges.
Meanwhile, fellow speed demon Moore — the driver whose car actually collided with Lauwers — faces a misdemeanor count of engaging in a speed contest, as well as felony counts of DUI causing great bodily injury and DUI with a blood alcohol content over .08%.
In other words, both were blasted at 8 am on a Sunday morning.
And nearly killed another human being because they were too drunk — or too stupid — to keep their damn feet off the accelerator pedal.
The same source reports that Joseph Fernandez is finally behind bars for the death of Encino cyclist Jim Swarzman.
Also, Joseph Fernandez, who slaughtered Jim Swarzman as his fiancé watched, is currently behind bars at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County. I tried to confirm the length of his sentence yesterday (Columbus Day?), but the courthouse was closed. Still, it’s comforting to know he’ll be off the streets for a while.