We’re learning more about the vehicular rampage in Las Vegas that led to the intentional hit-and-run death of 64-year old retired Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst.
Including that Probst wasn’t the first bike rider attacked by the two teens.
ABC News reports that the attacks began when the driver deliberately slammed into a 72-year old man riding a bicycle; no word on whether that victim was injured.
They then sideswiped a car, and moments later attacked Probst.
The second person in the car, who videoed the attack, was arrested Tuesday, although no charges appear to have been filed against him at this point.
Neither juvenile has been publicly identified, but that’s likely to change if they are charged as adults.
The Black Wall Street Times reports Probst’s killers may have been inspired by a TikTok hit-and-run challenge, in which “teens show others how to steal certain vehicles without a key and go on joyrides.”
If that’s the case, it could cast a frightening shadow over the recent hit-and-run rampage in Huntington Beach, where a teenaged driver faces charges for intentionally slamming into three people riding bikes, resulting in the death of 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.
Then there’s this.
Despite being the first reporter on the scene following Probst’s killing, and encouraging a school resource officer to turn the video of the attack over to the police, Las Vegas Review-Journal crime reporter Sabrina Schnur became the subject of violent and anti-semitic comments from people who falsely accused the paper of downplaying Probst’s death.
Not surprisingly, X/Twitter owner Elon Musk drove much of the attacks, after accusing the media of a lack of sufficient outrage to meet his demands.
On Sunday morning, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, amplified one of the screenshots, posting “An innocent man was murdered in cold blood while riding his bicycle. The killers joked about it on social media Yet, where is the media outrage? Now you begin to understand the lie.” That post had 68.2 million views as of Monday evening…
The Review-Journal’s social media accounts and other staff also received vicious attacks. When Schnur shared that she’d received 700 notifications on X and an onslaught of angry emails and voicemails, editors jumped in to support her and make sure she was safe.
Executive editor Glenn Cook said that during his 30-plus years in journalism, he’d never seen vitriol of this volume or intensity. “It’s like a fire hose of hatred to the face,” he wrote in a column about the social media outrage.
The attacks were also driven by other rightwing sources, including far-right commentator Laura Loomer and Fox News host Greg Gutfield.
As long as we’re discussing the murder of innocent people with motor vehicles, 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was convicted of murder Tuesday for intentionally running down a man walking his bicycle in a 2021 Riverside hit-and-run.
Forty-six-year old Benedicto Solanga was walking with a friend when Gutierrez drove by in his pickup, flipped the men off for no apparent reason, then made a U-turn to come back and slam into Solanga from behind. He died in a hospital three days later.
The Riverside jury also convicted Gutierrez a sentence-enhancing allegation of using his truck as a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.
There’s no word on whether Gutierrez knew Solanga, or if this was a case of road rage. Or if there was some other reason for his murderous attack.
Gutierrez is currently being held without bail at Riverside’s Robert Presley Jail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for December 15th.
Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry calls it a troubling sign that Caltrans’ staunchest advocate for safety, sustainability and sanity has apparently been fired, in what Politico calls a “shakeup.”
Deputy Director of Planning and Modal Programs Jeanie Ward-Waller, the former Advocacy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition, is reportedly being “reassigned” in the department.
Curry speculates that the move may have come because Ward-Waller argued too strongly for incorporating the state’s climate plan in highway projects, as “some Caltrans planners are still pushing strategies to get around changing state regulations.”
If so, that is troubling. But sadly, not surprising.
That white smoke coming from LA City Hall yesterday means we now have a new LADOT General Manager, as uninspiring as the choice may be.
— StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) September 19, 2023
We have a new “protected” bike lane in the San Fernando Valley.
Even if bollards won’t keep out abandoned mattresses, or food truck customers.
Tucked away on Variel between Victory and Erwin is 0.4 miles of new bike lane.
I was surprised to see this on my commute but disappointed that it did not continue to Califa.
— ʎ u u ɐ p 🚲⚾️ (@gatodejazz) September 19, 2023
In my efforts to catch up from my unexcused diabetic crash and burn a few weeks ago, I have been remiss in not mentioning next month’s LA Bike Fest, hosted by BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
Join our partner @heybikela for their 2nd Annual LA Bike Fest on 10/7 from 10 am – 2 pm! It will be at the Highland Park Brewery (Chinatown location), and they've lowered their ticket prices to just $25.#bikela #community #celebratethemovement#LABikeFest pic.twitter.com/qWXKrL0gao
— Finish The Ride (@FinishTheRide) September 19, 2023
Huntington Beach is the latest city to consider overwriting state traffic laws to regulate bicycles, including a ban on riding against traffic on the sidewalk.
Even though sidewalks aren’t directional, and a newly passed state law will legalized sidewalk riding throughout the state, if it’s signed by Governor Newsom.
The regulations would also ban going around stopped of slowed traffic, and includes a vague ban on riding in an unsafe manner, and a provision allowing impounding bikes belonging to juvenile scofflaw riders.
Any and all of which could be tossed out by the courts, since the state, not cities, is responsible for regulation all forms of traffic under California law, on two wheels as well as four.
New bicycle, moped, etc. laws will be voted on tonight at city council. They further define what an “unsafe manner” is.
It also includes new language for impounding bicycles, mopeds, etc. #HuntingtonBeach #bicycles pic.twitter.com/6Z3QzYuQS6
— Exposing_Huntington_Beach (@exposing_hb) September 19, 2023
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
The founder of Streets For All is reminded that plastic bollards are no protection against LA drivers.
I was admiring the new bollards at Rosewood / La Brea @LADOTofficial recently put in to stop drivers from illegally going straight. And as I’m shooting the video…@timfremaux can we add a few more across? Cahuenga / Lexington has more and prevents this absurdity pic.twitter.com/yDHV4XYHIh
— Michael Schneider (@schneider) September 19, 2023
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Police in New York has released video of the hit-and-run ebike rider who killed a 69-year old woman as she crossed a street on the Lower East Side earlier this month.
Los Angeles is asking the federal government for up to $10.3 million in grant funding for a series of new active transportation and public open space projects, including proposals to reconnect bisected MacArthur Park by closing Wilshire Blvd, and studying the possibility of capping the 101 Freeway in Hollywood to build a new park over it; the city is also teaming with Metro to request another $86 million for new bus lanes, bike lanes, and other active transportation and transit infrastructure projects.
When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When seniors using walkers have to use it to get around a Venice homeless camp.
The Cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando are hosting a non-CicLAvia open streets festival from 10 am to 2 pm this Saturday “promoting an active lifestyle and community engagement, all while celebrating the joy of biking, walking, and rolling.”
San Diego’s annual Bike the Coast ride will return on November 4th, allowing “participants of all levels to enjoy a memorable course that takes them along the scenic views and quaint communities along Highway 101.”
Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 39-year old woman was killed by a driver when she allegedly rode her bike in front of the oncoming car. Although what actually happened hinges on whether there were any independent witnesses, or if investigators are relying solely on the driver’s statement, since the victim can’t give her side of the story.
Palo Alto parents are demanding steps to improve traffic safety after two children were struck by drivers in separate incidents, including a middle school student who was critically injured while riding his bike.
San Francisco traffic safety advocates are calling on the city to protect bike riders and pedestrians by banning right turns on red lights.
Stockton suspended its e-bikeshare program after it was plagued by vandalism and theft.
Santa Monica-based Bird has taken a dominant position in the US micromobility market with its acquisition of Spin from European provider Tier.
A writer for Cycling Weekly explains why he prefers to ride alone 95% of the time. I do, too, though in my case it’s a case of cycling weakly.
Bike-friendly Portland suffered the year’s first bicycling fatality when a man was struck by a driver Tuesday morning; that compares to four bicycling deaths in the city last year.
A Seattle driver agreed to plead guilty to vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run in exchange for a recommendation of just under three and a half years for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike. Let’s hope that also includes a length driving ban once he’s released.
Life is not so cheap in New Mexico, for a change, as the estate of a fallen bike rider agreed to a $1 million settlement with his killer, a state district judge who originally walked with just $82 in court costs after invoking her right to remain silent.
A Denver-based nonprofit gave the entire second grade class at a Colorado Springs CO elementary new BMX bikes and helmets.
Tragic news from New Hampshire, where Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens died of complications from a bicycling collision on Tuesday, seven months after he lost a leg and suffered a spinal chord injury when he was struck by a speeding driver as he rode his bike home from a Florida restaurant with his wife; he was 66.
A Hartford website accuses the state’s ebike rebate program of an equity failure, with just 2% of the 468 vouchers reaching the state’s most financially challenged residents.
New York Magazine highlights “comfy and cool” bike helmets kids will actually want to wear.
DC became the latest city to approve ebike incentives, offering vouchers up to $1,500 for an ebike, or $2,000 to buy an e-cargo bike. Meanwhile, potential California ebike buyers continue to wait. And wait.
A new survey ranks the UK’s worst cities for bike riders, with London a surprising third behind Bradford and Leeds.
London’s Fire Brigade called for “proper regulation” of ebike batteries and chargers after a man suffered life-changing injuries when his ebike battery caught fire
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced a new 12-point ‘code de la rue’ (street code), in addition to France’s existing code de la route (highway code), to help bike riders, drivers and pedestrians better share the city’s streets; the rules include giving pedestrians priority and banning all two-wheeled vehicles from sidewalks, as well as a ban on drinking before driving, biking or scooting.
Belgian ebike maker Cowboy teamed with a Parisian designer for a dramatic cruiser bike designed to fit “in with women’s busy lives.” Evidently, men need not apply for the $3,700 ebike.
Bicycling says none of Sepp Kuss’ friends back home in Colorado are surprised at his victory in the Vuelta. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.
Not only is Kuss king of the Vuelta, he’s also king of the KOMs.
LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon topped 370 other riders to win the 2023 Mount Baker Hill Climb, in what Essentially Sports called a “stunning display of cycling prowess.”
Bicycling also reports that the sports director for the Lotto Dstny Development Team has been suspended for deliberately running over a course marshal during Belgium’s GP Rik Van Looy bike race. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.
And repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike under the influence, while carrying controlled substances and already wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it.
The bike, that is. Not the warrant.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin