He now faces felony charges.
Readers of this blog know that I constantly harp on the Tucson Police Department for not following up on assaults on bicyclists. I have a growing list of attacks on bicyclists where the license plate of the offender was obtained but the police declined to visit the attacker, usually because the victim cannot identify the person that struck him (or her) as they drove past.
This L.A. incident is the perfect example of why these drivers need to be paid a visit whenever a complaint is lodged against them. Even if the cyclist cannot identify the assailant, the assailant need not be told that when the police arrive at the door. Simply having the cops pay a suspected assailant a visit and ask a lot of questions will go a long way toward preventing the assailant from doing it again, and might save a life. In fact I would say it’s bound to.
So, Tucson P.D., what about it? What about following up on police report 0504140847? The assaulted cyclist in that incident got a plate number, maybe you should finally go over and tell them to stop throwing objects at bicyclists and then verbally abusing them?
Or maybe follow up on 0508300696, in which a bicyclist was punched by the passenger in a car. You have the plate on that one, too, but your investigator said it was registered to a post office box, and thus was impossible to track. You know that isn’t true, so how about going after this person now?
There’s also the hit and run documented in your report no. 0701150572. You don’t have any information on that because you refused to track the 911 call made by the driver as she looked over the cyclist, who was lying in a pool of blood in the street. The driver later fled and you refused the victim’s pleas to locate her through the 911 call. At great expense, I tracked that call myself and would be happy to provide you with the driver’s name and address. Oh wait — I already did that, and you responded that you had no duty to cite the driver.
Of course, there is also the baseball bat incident. You know and I know who owns the vehicle used in that assault and where he lives. Why not stop by and tell him not to hit people with bats anymore? I realize you have already told me that you have no duty to do so, but why not re-think that policy?
Because believe me, if a cyclist turns up dead and that person’s vehicle was used in the attack, you can bet you will be facing the mother of all lawsuits from the victim’s family, and they will be backed by a very angry cycling community.