Tag Archive for Nordhoff Street

Nordhoff hit-and-run victim identified; city to offer $50,000 reward

Two weeks after a cyclist was killed in an early morning hit-and-run on Nordhoff Street, we finally know the name of the victim.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the rider who was run down on Nordhoff Street on Friday, June 8th was 76-year old Northridge resident Paul Albert Helfen, who appears to own a number of properties in the Valley.

So let’s get this straight.

At 76, Helfen was healthy enough to be out riding at 2 am — and doing everything right, according to the police. And some coward not only runs him down, but leaves him lying there to die in the street.


Fortunately, this city is taking this one seriously.

Friday morning — two weeks to the day after Helfen was murdered — city and police officials will announce  that the City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the heartless SOB driver of the 2007 – 2012 Nissan Sentra that killed him.

Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Dead $50,000 Reward Offered

Press conference to announce a $50,000 reward motion leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who caused the death of a 76-year-old cyclist.

Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:15 A.M.

Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber
200 North Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Room 340 Los Angeles, CA 90012

Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Council District 12
Captain Ivan Minsal, Commanding Officer, Valley Traffic Division Detective William F. Bustos, Officer-in-Charge Valley Traffic Detectives Family members of Victim Paul Albert Helfen

To announce a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who killed 76-year-old Paul Albert Helfen.

•Visuals will include a photograph of Mr. Helfen.

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for anyone who will come forward with information that will help LAPD Valley Traffic Division Detectives solve a case of a fatal hit-and-run collision.

On Friday, June 8, 2012, at approximately 2:00 A.M., Valley Traffic officers responded to investigate a traffic collision involving a bicyclist near Nordhoff Street and Gaviota Avenue in the community of North Hills. The investigation revealed that Mr. Paul Albert Helfen, 76-years-of-age, was riding his bicycle eastbound on the south side of Nordhoff Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle. Mr. Helfen died at the scene as a result of suffering serious injuries during the collision.

The investigation has revealed that the possible hit and run vehicle is a 2007 through 2012 Nissan Sentra. The hit and run driver fled without stopping to render aid to Mr. Helfen or to identify himself or herself in accordance with the law.

Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of the driver or hit and run vehicle, are asked to contact Valley Traffic Detectives at (818) 644-8000 or (877) LAPD 24-7.

7870 Nollan Place
Panorama City, CA 91402

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 818-644-8000

This is the highest reward I’m aware of for the hit-and-run of a Southern California cyclist.

Maybe it will be enough to bring Helfen’s killer to justice.

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Helfen.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg and Sam Ebnet for the heads-up.

Cyclist killed in early morning North Hills hit-and-run; BOLO for dark blue SUV with front end damage

This is not the news any of us wanted to wake up to.

Numerous sources are reporting that a cyclist was killed early Friday in a North Hills hit-and-run, when a rider was hit from behind  on Nordhoff Street near Gaviota Avenue.

According to a release from the LAPD, the rider was riding eastbound near the curb when his bike was hit, throwing him onto the street and into a raised planter box in the Auto Zone parking lot; a witness report says he bounced off the SUV’s windshield.

According to both KABC-7 and KCBV-2, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was doing everything right when he was hit.

“This bicyclist did all the right things. Unfortunately, this accident occurred. I mean, he had a helmet on, the reflective vest, the bike headlights. He was an avid bicyclist. He had all the right things on,” said Capt. Ivan Minsal with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The avid bicyclist remark appears to stem from the fact that the victim was wearing bike shorts and appeared to be riding for exercise or recreation, despite the late hour.

Descriptions of the victim vary. The L.A. Times describes him only as a 53-year old male, while KABC-7 says he was a Hispanic man in his 50s or 60s; the LAPD release describes him as a whit male in his late 60s or early 70s.

Police are looking for a dark colored, possibly dark blue, Chevy Blazer or similar mid-size SUV with front end damage, most likely with a broken windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Valley Traffic Detectives, Detective II James Deaton #24252 at 818 644-8035 or Detective III William Bustos #25029 at 818 644-8021 during normal business hours.

Police also note that you don’t have to reveal your identity.

After-hours calls may be directed to a 24-hours, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log onto WWW.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.

At least in this area, Nordhoff is essentially a six lane, high-speed throughway that encourages motorists to drive far above the speed limit, particularly in the late night hours when light traffic essentially allows drivers to go as fast as they want.

The new L.A. bike plan calls for bike lanes on Nordhoff, though I don’t find it on the five-year implementation plan. Hopefully, it will include a road diet to slow traffic speeds; otherwise, a simple line of paint wouldn’t do a damn thing to stop a driver who couldn’t seem to see a cyclist lit up like a Christmas tree.

And keep an eye out for an SUV that matches the description. Anyone who could do something like this and then heartlessly run away like the coward he or she is belongs behind bars.

This is the 23rd cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in Los Angeles County; it’s the first bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles in 2012. This is also the fourth bike-related fatal hit-and-run in the seven county SoCal region this year.

My prayers and sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas for the heads-up.

Update: The LAPD has identified the victim as 76-year old Northridge resident Paul Albert Helfen; a $50,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of his killer.

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