From www.cicle.org (LA County Bicycle Coalition?):
Over the years people have written in with reports of being attacked on the Ballona Creek bike path. Luckily, these incidents do not happen daily, but let this recent report serve as a reminder to cyclists (and other path users) to be careful out there.
The account below was submitted to us by one of the cyclists that was attacked on the Ballona Creek bike path near Mar Vista yesterday, August 19, 2008, between 1:00 and 1:30 in the afternoon.
"I was riding west on the BC path at a little after 1pm yesterday, when there was actually fairly heavy traffic on the path. Under the 405 two gang members (this is what the police believe) threw another bike in my path, causing me to crash, and then sprayed me with pepper spray and took my backpack. I rode to the LAPD station on Culver Blvd., despite barely being able to see, and reported the incident since it was clear that there would be more victims. The attackers then used my backpack (which had a heavy On-Guard lock in it as well as several books) to assault at least two other cyclists (and possibly more, according to the detective I spoke with), pulling a knife on one (this is also what the police told me). My backpack was recovered by one of the victims who turned it in and called me. It turns out this is the second time he has been attacked in this manner on the BC path, this first time being left unconscious for nine hours."
Use this path all the time. Keep alert.