Murderously crazy bike-hating child abusing skateboard throwers

December 15, 2013 § 58 Comments

As I was riding down the strand towards the pier in Hermosa Beach yesterday morning, I heard a huge commotion. There were a lot of people in front of me, so I had to crane my neck to the side to see what was going on. The shouting and cursing grew louder; by now I was only a hundred yards or less from the pier.

A bike was on its side and a rider was cursing someone at the top of his lungs. The cursee was beating a hasty treat with a young child in tow. He kept looking over his shoulder and shouting epithets at the cyclist, who I recognized as my friend Douggie. It was 7:45 and I had planned to flip it at the pier and head back to Redondo for the start of the Donut Ride.

“Are you okay, man?”

“I think so,” Douggie answered, shaking with rage. “That guy just took me out.”

The man had vanished from view, but I’d seen him clearly enough. He was in his late 40’s, about 5’10”, maybe 200 lbs., and he had a skateboard tucked under his arm. The little kid was wearing a bright red jacket.

“What happened?”

“I was coming along the strand and that guy was standing at the edge of the pavement. We made eye contact, I must have been going ten miles an hour or so. Then he leaned over, set the skateboard down, and gently rolled it right in front of my bike as I passed. There was nothing I could do.”

“Wait a minute. The guy did that? Or the kid?”

“The guy. The kid was standing there. They saw the whole thing.” He pointed to a man and his son, who were slack-jawed.

“Really?” I asked them.

“Yeah. Just like he said. It was unbelievable.”

“Then let’s call the cops. That’s a felony battery.”

The Hermosa police were there in a few minutes, and a lifeguard had spotted the guy shouting at the little boy on the other side of the dunes. The two reappeared in a few minutes and the guy tried to get in his car and leave. The cop stopped him.

The skateboard tosser was foaming at the mouth, ranting and raving at Douggie. “You were outta control, man! Outta control!”

“Yeah, I was out of control after you knocked me down, you asshole!” Douggie shot back.

The cop shut the guy up, sat him down away from us, and interviewed Douggie and the witnesses. It turned out that the witness and his son were cyclists themselves and were from Colorado, here on a short holiday trip. Welcome to California, man.

The cop went over to the guy, who continued to shout and rave and scream at Douggie, who’s a particularly careful rider. “Look, pal,” the cop said as the crazy dude denied everything. “There are two witnesses and the victim whose stories match perfectly. They said they saw you intentionally knock that him down with your skateboard.”

“They’re lying!” he shouted.

Then the little boy broke into tears. “Just tell him the truth, dad,” the boy implored.

There were a few terrible seconds of silence. The crazy guy hung his head. “I did it,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

The cop came back over. “What do you want me to do?” he asked Doug. “I can arrest and charge him.”

We all looked at the sobbing little boy. There was something terribly wrong going on and everyone knew it, especially the cop. What was less clear was that arresting the guy would make things any better. Douggie shook his head. “No, officer, I don’t want to press charges. But could you explain to him that he can’t be going around knocking people down like that? Someone’s gonna get hurt.”

The cop nodded. “Okay.”

By this time they’d run board tosser’s driver license and nothing had come up. “I’m really sorry,” the guy said again. He and the little boy got into the beat-up Volvo and drove off.

Douggie and I missed the Donut and ended up doing our own ride. Our heads were spinning the entire way.

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§ 58 Responses to Murderously crazy bike-hating child abusing skateboard throwers

  • Arkansas Traveler says:

    “I learned it from watching YOU, Dad!”

  • Quiche says:

    I don’t know. Maybe charges would have been appropriate. Had you not happened upon the scene, this would have ended with the little boy learning not only is it okay to accost people you don’t like, you can get away with it too. Perhaps an arrest, plead down to a misdemeanor, and give the guy 30 days community service. The boy was already troubled by the lying, and thank goodness. But if left unchecked, it could easily become a way of life for him. As with most forms of unjustified rage, we’re not born that way. We’re taught.

    • fsethd says:

      Yes, it seemed like a lose-lose proposition. Douggie was pretty relieved not to have splattered his skull.

  • DOUG says:

    Thanks Seth,
    Still in shock that a middle age man in front of his son would actually do that. Be careful out there he probably has it out for cyclists. He drives on old Volvo wagon license # 2FQT944 just in case anyone else encounters him!!!

  • Tom says:

    Doug is too nice … I have increasingly less & less tolerance for a-holes who buzz or harass cyclists.

    I would have had fat slob arrested … and sue his ass into oblivion … except he was probably driving his beat-up Volvo back to the trailer park, so the effort would be fruitless.

    • fsethd says:

      You never know. He could be a trust baby. A lot of it is the hassle of pressing charges, showing up in court, etc. The good thing is that there’s a record of his behavior. But there was something really wrong with the dad-kid thing.

    • Always with the Trailer Park. Always. Hey! Jesus was born in a barn! A trailer park probably would have looked pretty good to his mom and dad had there been one around, but the recession was so bad in 1 B.C. there weren’t any trailer parks left, just rich assholes and Pharisees.

      And anyone with a Volvo wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a trailer park. We all drive jacked-up-mud-splattered pickup trucks. A Volvo. Be serious.

      I’m glad Doug survived. Smacking the doofus in the face would have flipped the coin and the outcome would be far more complicated. Pressing charges would have certainly resulted in a long drawn out dance of futility. In the weird way the world operates, it all worked out with the least unraveling possible.

      There are those among us who hate cyclists (and trailer park dwellers). We make an obvious and seemingly easy target. But we survive, don’t we? We will always be here. (That’s also the problem with the poor: they just won’t go away.) As cyclists, (and trailer dwellers) we seem to trigger some innate visceral reaction that results in sudden danger at the hands of those with bad impulse control.

      That kid will always remember this incident. How it shapes him ain’t up to us or the Pharisees: it is between him and whatever forces guide our destiny. He may end up in a trailer park, or maybe the White House. Both, if he is lucky: humble beginnings have resulted in some of the greatest beings to have stalked the planet.

      I’m glad we had this talk. tj

  • Hello fseth-san and All,

    Cyclists are not universally popular.

    ‘Conservatives New Enemy: Bikes’


    In an antibike-share video commentary titled “Death by Bicycle,” The Wall Street Journal’s Rabinowitz described New York as “a city whose best neighborhoods are absolutely— ‘begrimed’, is the word—by these blazing blue Citibank bikes,” while the reporter interviewing her helpfully offered that the bikes were also a “fire hazard” and observed that “New York is not London, or Paris, or Amsterdam.”

    But Rabinowitz’s deeper cavil is that bikes represent an assault on American freedoms. Her description of the bike lobby as an “all-powerful enterprise” might sound a little breathless, but is echoed elsewhere. Dan Maes, a Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2010, declared efforts to boost cycling to be “part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”

    When Rush Limbaugh suggested that injured bikers deserve what they get, it was because they’re victimizing auto drivers by forcing them to yield to others.

    Hot Damn!! We have been noticed!



    +1 mph Faster

    • Tom says:

      It’s not too suprising that far-left newspapers, like Boston Globe, will take any potshot they can at conservatives.

      I’m a strong supporter of limited govt and am especially opposed to too-powerful central gov’ts … but I am also cycling enthusiast.

      The two are not incompatible … contrary to broad-brush generalizations by MSM intended to tar their political opponents.

    • fsethd says:

      Be careful what you wish for, right?

      Anyway, I’m proud to be undermining our nation’s independence as part of the Black Helicopter Network.

    • Doug says:

      Speaking of generalizations, all Hollywood actors hate cyclists. Really, it’s true. Sylvester Stallone nearly hit my handlebars with his Mercedes and honked at the same time. He stopped when I flipped the finger. He jumped out and and raged about f*** cyclists taking up the road. His body guard got out of a second car and pulled him away. I was hoping to be attacked by a millionaire.

      • fsethd says:

        I think super rich people hate anything that gets in their way, literally or figuratively, but especially literally.

      • Bill Stone says:

        Seth, you really need to check how to properly use literally. The correct use is not to say that something is really true. Rather, it is used to explain that a the following metaphor is true, such as “He as Jesus literally walked on water . And please stop using who when you mean whom. Come on man, you are literally a man a few words.


      • channel_zero says:

        There are personalities on both sides of the camera working in Hollywood used to getting their way no matter what and the behaviour you describe does not surprise me.

        There are a few personalities working in front of the camera that ride bikes at various levels of bicycling enthusiasm who are pretty normal folks.

      • Erik says:

        Seems to me “literally” was used appropriately here.

  • 900aero says:

    Glad Doug is ok. Some people (including the neo-cons Neal mentions) are harbouring some weird shit in their brains. They are deluded when they think cyclists are the source of their problems. Once you get past the outrage, it’s hard not to feel sorry for them. Their issues are so deep, they’ll probably never even see them, never mind resolve them.

    • fsethd says:

      You’re spot on. What’s funny is that other people have told me stories about bike path punks who, when they hear a bike coming up, pretend to kick their skateboards in front of the bikes. No one’s actually had it happen, but there’s a lot of hostility. This guy was just waiting for someone to victimize. The weirdest thing is “How do you possibly protect against that?” So, all pedestrians are potential aggressors, just like cars?

      Scotty, beam me up. Or down.

  • The whole thing is sad. I’m sorry this happened.

  • Peter Schindler says:

    That is one of the saddest stories I’ve read. The poor kid, this is the hell he has to live with for the next umpteen years.

  • Valley Girl says:

    Forgive me Seth…and Douggie. Maybe it’s because my dad was a cop for 35 years, but in my opinion, he should have had him arrested. While he will have seen benevolence which is such an important value, coming from a family like that, I’m thinking the kid learned the wrong lesson from the experience. I understand where Douggie’s heart was, but that kid learned that all one has to do is make a few sops feel bad and serious criminal acts are okay. Tough love for the kid, but that’s life. Sorry that happened.

    • fsethd says:

      I don’t think it was benevolence so much as it was a question of “How much more of my life do I want to intertwine with this bad and crazy guy?” The cop didn’t seem super eager to arrest, either. Weird deal all the way around.

  • Mike says:

    Wow….that’s just nuts. What’s absolutely priceless is the kid, “just tell them the truth,” I mean…that’s awesome!!!!

    I’m glad your friend is alright and that he had the heart to let the whole thing go. Thanks for the post.

  • Usta Befit says:

    Poor kid….probably still got beat when he got home. Glad Douggie is ok & hope that boy is too…

  • Chris says:

    Sorry, bad decision.
    Commit a crime, then say your sorry, “I don’t know what got over me”. And then get the last laugh. Teach your kids it’s OK to be a criminal, cause once in a while you’ll actually get away with it. We all make mistakes. Im guessing this “mistake” has been made many times before and now will be free to be made again. Only next time a cracked vertebrae? A broken collarbone? A broken neck? A child with a quadriplegic dad?
    I watched it with my own eyes as Christopher Thompson did it and I see it to some extent on nearly every ride. They defeated me. I don’t do the sport I love most nearly as much as before. Don’t want to be the victim. So he wins again. He sure showed those cyclists who’s boss.
    Next time…PLEASE….arrest him.

    • fsethd says:

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it’s a pretty big investment of your time and your life to prosecute a guy like that. The witnesses were visitors from Colorado. I’m not blaming my pal for just wanting to get on with his life.

  • SbBabySeal says:

    Wow…just wow.

    Glad you’re ok Doug.

  • spinner says:

    The big question is this; WHY did the guy do it?

  • Bill Stone says:

    If you do not put criminals in jail they will never be able to obtain the skills necessary to use guns to stand their ground on the parade route. People who do violence do it again.

  • Noel says:

    Spinner, to get to the other side.

  • Kim W says:

    So, if you put Dad in jail, the kid goes to social workers & is pretty much screwed for life. The kid knew that Dad did wrong & had the guts to call him on it. Kudos to kid. Hopefully, Doug NOT pressing charges shows the kid that cyclists are cool.

    Heck, I was told by a Lomita Sheriff that the Sheriffs ALL absolutely HATE all cyclists & that the roads in PV aren’t made for cycling. I told him that I cycle to work & he told me to get a car. Idiots. I still ride. 😛

  • Jonas Mas says:

    sometimes a jolt of reality would’ve straighten idiots like that…wrist slaps seldom does the trick.

    • fsethd says:

      On the other hand, once you realize you survived it’s also natural to want to get on with life.

  • dan martin says:

    After that tard finished picking his missing teeth up off the ground, I would have had him arrested. Im sick of dbags screwing with cyclists.

    • fsethd says:

      Yeah, those kind of attacks make you want blood to run. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t hit someone, though. That may be because these guns aren’t exactly made for shooting, I suppose.

  • evan says:

    What governs when a private citizen is allowed to decide whether justice is served? I never understood “pressing charges”. The law was broken; shouldn’t a judge and jury be the ones to determine the criminal’s fate?

    I understand that it’s a hassle to go to court and I can’t say I’d have acted differently, but in general I’d rather there were fewer psychopaths on the loose. But because a cop and a couple witnesses would have been too inconvenienced to follow through the law suddenly doesn’t apply? Shouldn’t truthful testifying be compulsory, like jury duty?

    • fsethd says:

      The person “pressing” the charge has to be willing to testify. You can’t convict someone on the testimony of a police officer who was not an eyewitness. Sure, you can subpoena witnesses who live in Colorado, thereby using time and money and court resources to prosecute a crime in which no one was hurt. This means you don’t get to prosecute a case of rape, murder, domestic abuse, etc.

  • Shawn says:

    Glad to hear Doug was ok. What a weird and sad experience all at the same time. Can’t say I’m surprised though. In forty years of riding I’ve seen a lot of seriously weird stuff and unexplainable human behavior.

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