Roadblock Hit & Run Perpetrator Guilty of Misdemeanor Property Damage

By Alex Thompson

(update: it was a no contest plea – an earlier version of this article wrote it was a guilty plea – confusion arose over how a no contest plea is handled in sentencing.  My apologies.)

Earlier today Glenn Gritzner plead no contest to misdemeanor hit and run, specifically to violating California Vehicle Code 20002(a): leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage.  Roadblock, a well known and respected leader in the cycling community, was hit by Gritzner’s Jaguar months ago, and left lying in the street. Today, Gritzner’s attorney came to the Metropolitan Courthouse in Downtown LA to plead guilty on his client’s behalf, in a plea bargain worked out with the city attorney.

For his sentence, Gritzner may choose between seven days in county jail, 47 days of community service, or a $510 fine (after fees this amounts to about $2k.)  He also must pay restitution to Roadblock, and he will be booked within the next 6 months.

As part of the plea deal, Gritzner stipulates that there is a factual basis for his plea, a legal admission that there is strong evidence that he committed the crime.  The case now heads to civil court.

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5 Responses to “Roadblock Hit & Run Perpetrator Guilty of Misdemeanor Property Damage”

  1. Alex, can you elaborate on what “factual basis for his plea” means, in lay terms? Is he saying, because you have evidence against me, I will plead guilty?

  2. @danceralamode

    Reading about it, it’s like I say – he’s agreeing that there is substantial evidence against him, but not agreeing that all the evidence is correct. I don’t completely understand if and how this affects the civil trial.

    I got the no-contest vs guilty thing wrong because a no-contest plea is treated as guilty for the purposes of sentencing, so the judge actually say “finds the defendant guilty”, but it’s still a no-contest plea.

    I feel I’m in over my head on this stuff – need criminal procedure and civil procedure 101!!

  3. IANAL, but I think that a “no-contest” plea means that the defense is accepting there is no way they could be found not guilty, while still not admitting any guilt – this us used when the amount of evidence is overwhelming. A guilty plea is used when the defense doesn’t want to comment on the factuality of any of the evidence and just admit to wrongdoing and get on with it. Usually a guilty plea is what is requested for plea bargains (that is what happened with the serial killer dude in san diego this week) and is looked upon more favorably by the court.”guilty” is akin to “you got me” where as “no-contest” is more “i would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those damn kids!”

  4. Wow…I’ve fallen out of the loop. Didn’t know they’d found and caught the guy – the system isn’t totally broken! Good news.

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  1. Your weekend reading list « BikingInLA - April 17th, 2010

    […] hit-and-run driver who left Roadblock lying injured in the street pleads no contest and receives a slap on the wrist —  and gets to keep his license. After years of reports that the LAPD didn’t take bike thefts […]

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