Hummer hits cyclist. Officer Cho sympathizes with the driver, adding "and I carry a gun in my car."

By Alex Thompson

(update: more details on the incident)

Friday morning at approximately 2am in downtown LA:  A black Hummer, bearing no license plates, hits a cyclist, knocking him to the ground.  The Hummer then flees the scene dragging a bike it ran over underneath it, only to be pulled over one block over by LAPD.  After taking reports from witnesses, Officer Cho addresses the group of about twelve cyclists, saying:

If it had been me with my family in that car, I’d have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.

Hummer runs over bike in Downtown Los Angeles

(Photo lightened in order to be visible.  Courtesy Matt Stilline’s cellphone – you’d think a pro photojournalist could take a better photo)

The incident occured as a small group of about twelve riders turned right from Los Angeles St to 7th St.  As the group turned, a Hummer which had been honking at the group hit and injured a rider, who spent the night in the ER for ankle injuries.  His friends helped him to the curb, and the Hummer stopped.  However, the motorist then tried to flee the scene, as cyclists tried to record the license plate number.  Two cyclists quickly blocked its path as the passengers and cyclists yelled at each other.

Eventually the driver drove into the cyclists, who narrowly escaped severe injury by scattering.  The Hummer ran over at least three bikes, destroying them, and smashing a cyclist in her thigh with a bike in the process.  He then drove down one block, turned onto Main St., where he was pulled over by LAPD.

The occupants of the car fled on foot, and though LAPD caught the driver, several of the passengers escaped.  Those passengers returned later to threaten the group of cyclists, saying that if they spoke with police, they would return “60 crips deep.”

After a large group of police officers interviewed the witnesses and the suspects they released the driver, who drove off without a ticket.  Officer Cho, the officer in charge at the scene then approached the cyclists.  He first told the group:

Get everyone together because I don’t want to say this twice.   If anyone says anything I’m gonna walk away and I’m not going to talk to you guys.  Based on the evidence right now it looks like the cyclist hit the car, not that the car hit the cyclist.

Cyclist then argued with him, pointing out that the driver of the Hummer was dislodging a bicycle from underneath his vehicle when the police pulled him over.  Officer Cho then responded, saying “if it had been me with my family in that car, I’d have done the same thing, and I carry a gun in my car.”

Stay tuned for follow up.

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78 Responses to “Hummer hits cyclist. Officer Cho sympathizes with the driver, adding "and I carry a gun in my car."”

  1. Write your council person and ask them to ask the LAPD for an explanation of Officer Cho’s behavior. I have written my council person, Bill Rosendahl, who has been known to mouth some support for bicyclists.

    I also want to pipe in on the side of how important it is for all cyclists to obey the traffic laws. Too many cyclists are blowing through stop signs and red lights which makes it hard to make the pitch for cyclists’ rights. The “revolutionary” attitude should focus on actually making change, not just making some macho noise with a lot of attitude that solves nothing except to get fellow human beings all riled up rather than appreciative of your cause and message.

  2. So the bikers were clumped up together blocking traffic?

    I know this is a bike site, but is it always the drivers fault?

  3. Ok – responses like this make me furious. Are you kidding me? If you see a bunch of kindergartners in the street, are you gonna run them over and then say “it was their fault”? Or old ladies?

    Further – why would you assume they were “clumped up together blocking traffic”? Moreover, cyclists have a legitimate right to the road. Plus, it’s the middle of the goddamn night on a multi lane road and this asshole in a Hummer can’t drive around them?

    All in all it sounds like motorists just think it’s ok to take the law into their own hands and hit people they don’t like.

    Jim = POS.

  4. The Hummer ran over a 3 bikes and dragged one over a block underneath his car! WTF would you consider the drivers fault? Would he have to run over 50 bikes, or a million?

  5. Alex, sure, some of those cops may as well ride a bike so yes, as you say they can’t all hate cyclists. But they can hate any cyclist that is not a cop like them.

    Also its quite amusing how cops always keep insisting that “there may be more to it” and that “it doesn’t represent the whole situation”. Even when it’s pretty obvious to everyone who isn’t blind as them. Unfortunately being a cop doesn’t make you into a better person.

  6. You militant cyclists need to realize a few things before you start foaming at the mouth and get yourselves in some deep shit. There are way more drivers than cyclists on roads. The average car weighs in at nearly two tons. YOU need to respect the drivers, not the other way around.

    Doing stupid shit like blocking an intersection so 10 of your buddies can roll through a stop sign is not only illegal, it’s discourteous. Wait your turn like everyone else! This is how you guys end up with bicycles crushed underneath SUV’s.

    You scream “Share the road!”, and are up in arms about how you have the right to use the road, but your actions don’t match up with your mantra. Guess what? Automobile drivers also have the right to use the road, and there are laws on the books that require slower traffic to move aside. So obey all traffic laws and get out of the way when two tons of steel that’s moving faster than you comes up behind you and you won’t end up getting yourselves, along with other cyclists and motorists, hurt. Getting all militant about it is only going to make drivers hate you, and if they hate you, they won’t think twice about rolling over your skinny ass and your wispy bike.

  7. @RA ONE

    Sorry…I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Here’s what I think you were referring to: CVC 21202. It very clearly states that bicycles should ride as close as possible to the right hand curb except in the few instances they mention. Overtaking another bicycle is not the same as overtaking the lane. Bikes are still supposed to stay right, but are ALLOWED to move into traffic (safely) JUST long enough to pass another vehicle/obstruction.

    A “substandard width lane” is like a country road or an ally that is not wide enough for two cars to travel on.

    “Duty of Bicycle Operator: Operation On Roadway. VC 21202

    a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

    1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
    2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    b) Any person operating a bicycle on a one-way street or highway with two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.”

    These rules are designed to keep bikers SAFE! Common sense goes a long way!

  8. I want to let everyone know One Thing,
    IF THIS EVER HAPPENS TO YOU. where a COP says anything you don’t like such as that comment. or say he can’t help you or DO ANYTHING or Doesn’t Arrest someone who did an injustice or you feel He/She should do something about it.
    Without the Officer knowing, Call the Local Police or Sheriff’s Station and ask the NAME of the “WATCH COMMANDER” on duty at that time, and ask that he/she comes out to the scene where all the trouble is, Tell them that the Officer on the spot is not doing his/her job, THEN tell That Officer that is giving you the trouble, to call the Watch Commander “Say the name of the Watch Commander that you got from the phone call” TO COME OUT TO THIS SPOT NOW.

    REMEMBER the name of the Watch Commander and Check the Name Badge and Card of the responding officer because 70% of the time The Officer will call out a buddy to PLAY the Roll of Watch Commander.

    When the Watch Commander gets there, Let him or her Know all that was done and said. 99% of the time, the Commander will have the offender arrested or ticketed and write up the officer.

  9. @Emily
    I’m familiar with the section of law that you quote, but there’s all sorts of conditions that cyclists are quite aware of that I never noticed before I started biking everywhere (I haven’t used my car in over a year — I should really find a charity to give it to).

    A condition for taking the lane may be that I’ve moved left to avoid an obstacle and there is no longer room for a vehicle to safely pass me in that lane, it’s safer to assert position in that lane than to leave room that someone might try to pass in.

    You also left out 21202.a.4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

    This is allowed because 22100.a calls for:
    (a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a
    right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the
    right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except…
    (I’m leaving out the exceptions, you can read them yourself if you’re curious.)

    This requires drivers to move to the right before taking a right turn, using what they think of as the bike lane if necessary (see where it turns to a dashed line when approaching an intersection). If a driver properly merges to the right before taking their turn, there is no way for a cyclist to end up on their right as they take the turn.

    Of course drivers don’t follow that rule ever – and I never thought anything of it until I was at those intersections without a 2 ton steel cage around me.

    When I merge left approaching a stop light to leave the turning lane clear, I’ve had drivers pull to my right and floor it as the light turns green. I once had someone pull to my right and yell at me about how I should use the bike lane (which I had been in and would again be in after clearing the intersection).

    I have no clue what the group of cyclists was doing when they encountered the Hummer, but from what I’ve seen, drivers are happy to make aggressive moves toward cyclists without considering the consequences of those moves. Most cyclists know that hitting a car is generally a loss for the cyclist. I also know that when I’ve been riding hard and have adrenaline going, my reaction to aggression is not likely to be calm and collected.

  10. you should reconsider living in a shithole like Los Angeles

  11. Happy Land,

    Nice try. It’s was the correct usage. It’s called a possessive pronoun. (Note: two correct uses of “it’s”).

    Dumbass.

  12. Seriously people need to chill. Regardless of biking or not, this person hit another human being and then tried to flee, wtf. Humans need to start respecting eachother as human beings.

    And don’t fuck with cyclists, seriously don’t fuck with cyclists, you don’t want to piss off a mob of angry cyclists. We all happen to have large metal objects that could do some serious damage against your pathetic skull. My bike weighs under 20lbs and I can weild that thing like a battle axe.

    And You can’t seriously argue against biking, it cuts down on traffic, carbon emissions, it’s healthy, it promotes good things. Cars they promote traffic, pollution, waste, garbage, they are dangerous in the hands of the wrong people(aka this dude in his stupid suv) and the list goes on.

    The bicycle is the single greatest invention by a human being, it is inhernetly utopian in it’s construction. Go ahead cry about how cyclists get in your way, cry about how you can’t manage to maneuver your giant suv around some cyclists, cry about how you are so angry and cyclists should share your road instead of the other way around.

    I’m sick of this crap. Chill out and slow the fuck down, you are going to get where you are going and you don’t need to endanger a cyclists life in the process.

  13. This is from http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages

    The Role of the Bicycle in the Modern World
    For an entire century, the mistaken belief has dominated that bicycles are slow and inefficient while motor vehicles are much more practical. As a result, traffic deaths, heart disease, strokes, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, pollution, sprawl, traffic noise, and the cost of living have soared, while the trade balance, the quality of life, and the survivability of the planet have declined.

    I would not attempt to argue that motor vehicles have served no useful purpose or that they should be outlawed; on the other hand, I must point out that nearly one third of the gasoline burned each year is consumed for frivolous purposes, and that everyone can get to work and have a higher standard of living while burning less than a quarter of the oil that we currently use, if we are willing to change our society.

    Today Japan and Germany are among the countries that demonstrate that energy efficiency and a high standard of living can coexist. The United States could prove the same tomorrow.

    Why should we reduce our fuel consumption, adapt solar power, and ride bicycles more? I can give good economic, environmental, and health reasons:

    There are two very strong economic reasons: First, our oil reserves are decreasing every year while our demand for oil is increasing. The United States has a huge trade imbalance which is made worse by our oil imports. Second, the world oil reserves are also decreasing every year. Eventually, costs will skyrocket, and the economic consequences will be severe.

    There are two strong environmental reasons: First, fossil fuel pollution in this country is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year, and it is also damaging our forests. Second, the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are increasing each year, which has been causing climatic disruptions which will only continue to grow worse, unless we change our ways.

    There are two very strong health reasons as well: First, our motorized society is harmful to the human nervous system due to noise, confusion, constant danger, and life in an obviously artificial and ugly environment. Second, our sedentary lifestyle is the cause of one third of all premature deaths along with decreased health and enjoyment. The human body and soul need healthy excercise in a more pleasant evironment.

    People have maintained that it would be impractical to use a bike to get to work when one has to drive a hundred miles every day. But if we did not make motor vehicle wastelands out of our cities, no one would feel the need to travel a hundred miles to work. Our cities were once pleasant places to live, but we made then undesirable through pollution, neglect, congestion, and noise. In addition, we have turned the value of life around backwards. Rather than working in order to have a satisfactory life, we find ourselves on a consumer treadmill, where we spend the majority of our waking hours either traveling to work or earning money, and the rest of our time buying or using consumer goods. This may be very good for industry, but it is not very good for people. Our wealth, rather than making us wiser, is making us more ignorant, as we no longer have time to learn and think. We have become, as Thoreau warned, the tools of our tools. Our wealth, instead of improving our lives, is injuring our health.

    I challenge all Americans to tear down their cubicles and get to know their neighbors, to quit driving their cars and to learn how to use their muscles, to quit absorbing pablum from the TV and to start to think and create, and to quit worrying so much about retirement and to enjoy living their lives today.

    I now represent a broad coalition of cyclists willing to fight for such a better lifestyle. I would like the President and Congress to aid us in making sweeping changes, because anything less is not good enough. However, it must be pointed out that the bulk of the changes will have to be made by individuals taking command of their own lives.

    Blade it, Skate it, Bike it, Run it, Just Do it. Get Fit…

  14. @ Emily

    I find it disturbing that you are far more concerned with correcting us when you are fully aware someone assaulted someone and got away with it. Positively mind blowing…

  15. @Emily

    wow!

    I cant believe I’m reading this shit!!!!

    “A “substandard width lane” is like a country road or an ally that is not wide enough for two cars to travel on.”

    “a country road or an ally”

    WTF!!!

    I like how you you quote the whole fucking section of the vehicle code and then pick three words to make up your own little insane definition for!!!

    Do you even own a fucking bike!!

    the section even gives a proper definition of “substandard width lane” and you come out with some crazy shit about “country road” and “alley”

    CVC 21202.a.3: a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

    SO… who do you think should get to make the decision about whether or not its safe enough for the bike and vehicle to travel side by side???

    Should I wait for the driver to come up next to me and ask him??
    Should I call you every time its in question??
    Should I call officer Cho and ask him??

    Or should the person who has the most to lose from that potential unsafe situation be the one to decide that the lane might be to fucking narrow?!?!?!

    you don’t know what I’m talking about??

    what I’m talking about is that you keep looking at the vehicle code and pulling out some crazy shit that doesnt exist…

    SERIOUSLY JUST STOP IT

  16. @ whizdumb

    are you really telling people to chill out in the first paragraph and then threating to cave in people’s skulls with your 20 lb. battleaxe of a bike in the next? really? is that seriously what you’re doing?

  17. The comments are now closed.

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