Wednesday, July 09 2014 @ 06:53 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Dear Orange County Sheriff’s Department,
On 5/31/2014, Bryan Larsen’s life was threatened, endangered and assaulted as he bicycled along the PCH in Dana Point, California. Having lived and raced in Europe, this individual is an accomplished Junior National Champion, a Category 1 Professional Cyclist. His resume reveals his experience to ensure his personal safety doing everything he can to protect himself; from wearing a helmet to being educated of the laws governing bicyclists, & adhering to the “Rules of the Road”.
Pulling out his cell, Bryan obtained video footage of the verbal harassment he’d been receiving from a passing motorist. He recorded more than just the license plate, additionally capturing video of the passenger throwing a potentially deadly projectile (full Gatorade bottle) from the moving vehicle. Not only did the driver fail to give a 3’ clearance to the cyclist, but can be seen swerving out of his lane, threatening to run the cyclist off the road. Concerning, Bryan immediately shared the video with OCSD. He was told he could pursue personal charges of assault, but that was it. Despite the video, OCSD would not do anything for reason of not being present to witness the incident.
Uncertain what to do next, Bryan shared this video with LOOK! SAVE A LIFE / Arizona. The goal of the organization is to humanize all road users by promoting a greater sense of safety and more respectful relationship among all who utilize our public byways. The mission is to foster an environment of safety through educating laws governing our roadways, developing a mutual respect and innovate transportation systems to better incorporate vulnerable users. Awareness is the key. Through awareness, suffering will be alleviated, injuries avoided, and lives will be saved.
We immediately shared his video on FB, which went Viral with over 130k views in less than 48hrs. This captured attention of local news reporters who investigated the story. Per KCAL9, “A sheriff’s spokesperson said detectives are investigating the incident as an assault & battery.”
It has been well over a month and still no word on justice being served. Both the driver and passenger of the assaulting vehicle have not been held accountable for their reckless and endangering actions. These incidents against cyclists are not only a problem for Southern California, but are becoming a National and Global Epidemic. There have been many similar, but far less serious recorded incidents throughout the country which have garnered significant attention to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions.
* Recently, an Alabama motorist recorded & posted to social media his own actions, assaulting cyclists. Per the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Keith Maddox was arrested for his actions on a warrant for reckless endangerment depicted in the videos endangering cyclist in our county.
* In 2012, Colorado State Patrol issued a citation to James Ernst, 75, of Erie, CO for harassment, impeding flow of traffic & improper use of a horn or warning device.
* In 2010, two men in Canton, Mississippi were arrested after recording and posting their “smoke out / rolling coal” of a cyclist on the Natchez Trace. In that incident, both driver & passenger faced federal and state charges stemming from this action.
There may be times a report is filed without a vehicle description or lack of evidence to hold accountable those responsible. On behalf of cyclists everywhere, I am kindly pleading for you to take necessary action to put a stop on these disgusting actions against cyclists. We need a clear message that such disturbing acts will not be tolerated or go unnoticed. Please thoroughly investigate this story to bring those responsible to justice!
If you would like to voice your concern, Please Contact The Orange County Sheriff’s Department or The Orange County Sheriff’s Department governing Dana Point.
“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”
Founder of: Look! Save A Life / ARIZONA
A Son, Brother, Boyfriend, Friend, Cyclist, Motorist, Student, Firefighter, EMT