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City refuses to pursue hit and run !?

Old 02-24-10, 12:46 AM
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City refuses to pursue hit and run !?

[edit ] would this be better suited for A&S?

https://la.streetsblog.org/2010/02/22...magos-and-ran/

On January 6, city employee and East Hollywood Neighborhood Council member Ed Magos was biking to work when he was hit by a Porsche Cayenne. The driver got out of her vehicle, checked briefly on the prone cyclist sprawled out in the street, ignored Magos' pleas for help and drove off. Magos was seriously injured and was carted away by the paramedics. The driver reported to an LAPD branch later in the day, reported she "might have hit something," and was let go with her license and expensive SUV still in her possession.

Today the LACBC released the information we were waiting for all along, the City is refusing to press charges against the driver for either the vicious crash or unconscious-able hit and run. Shortly after the crash, the LAPD accidentally handed a press release to Voice Newspapers' Carlos Morales stating that the incident wasn't a hit and run, despite the driver hitting Magos and fleeing the scene. After it was easily proven that there is no way the crash could not be classified as a hit and run by a conscientious and competent police department, The LAPD then spent the better part of a week backing away from their own release.

I guess the good news from all this is that the LAPD can't be accused of giving preferential treatment to a city staffer over a Latino kid when it comes to getting slammed into by an SUV. They show similar disinterest in pursuing cases against a hummer driver hit and running Andres Tena as they do Ed Magos getting plowed into by a Porsche SUV.

The release from the Bike Coalition, lamenting the city's boredom with this whole "hit and run" thing and announcing a protest ride to Wednesday's Transportation Committee hearing starring LAPD Chief Charlie Beck can be found in its entirety after the jump. However, of particular note is the shocked reaction from Magos and his attorney to the city's lack of concern.

"In what appears to be a clear case of hit-and-run, it has been discouraging to see that inflicting pain and injury in this manner can go without consequence or justice. I have come to find out that I needed to die or be paralyzed in order for this to be an event of note," states Ed Magos in response to the City's decision not to prosecute.

"It's unfortunate for Ed, his family, and all cyclists on the streets of LA that, once again, a driver that hit a cyclist and fled the scene will incur no criminal penalties or prosecution." Ross Hirsch, Magos's attorney and local cycling advocate said that, "It's also unfortunate that because of the driver's apparent lack of insurance that yet another cyclist may be left holding the bag for personal injury and property damage suffered as a result of this driver's actions," added Hirsch.

The entire press release can be found after the jump.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) announced today that it will host a bicycle ride and protest on Wednesday, February 24th in honor of downed cyclist and City employee Ed Magos and other victims of hit-and-run collisions whose cases have been unjustly treated. The ride will begin in East Hollywood and end at City Hall where the cyclists will join others for the LA City Council Transportation Committee Meeting. All are invited to join the cyclists to demand that our law enforcement authorities give equal treatment to cyclists who are victims of hit and run collisions.

Cyclists will meet at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope in Hollywood and follow Ed Magos' regular bicycle commute to City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. At the end of the ride, participants will join LACBC at the LA City Council Transportation Committee Meeting at City Hall in room 1010. Cyclists and supporters will address police Chief Charlie Beck and Councilmembers to let them know that as citizens of Los Angeles, they will no longer tolerate being marginalized; victims of inadequate police investigations never to see their cases prosecuted, and must be given equal treatment as anyone else under the law.

The decision to ride was sparked by Ed Magos's recent hit-from-behind on his commute to work while traveling on 2nd Street near Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. The motorist stopped, got out of her car, looked at Ed's prone and injured body lying in the street, and ignoring Magos's cries for help, got back in her car and drove away-leaving Magos lying helpless until the LAFD Paramedics arrived to take him to Good Samaritan Hospital. The driver did not speak or render any aid to Magos at the scene. State law defines this as felony hit and run. A passerby who called 911 wrote down the car's license number. When officers arrived on the scene, in spite of the eyewitness testimony, the officer erroneously listed the incident as a "traffic accident."

The motorist later went to an LAPD station and stated that she thought she might have hit "something." She was allowed to walk out of the station without incarceration, citation, or penalty.

The Los Angeles City Attorney and District Attorney's offices have declined bringing any charges against the driver.

"In what appears to be a clear case of hit-and-run, it has been discouraging to see that inflicting pain and injury in this manner can go without consequence or justice. I have come to find out that I needed to die or be paralyzed in order for this to be an event of note," states Ed Magos in response to the City's decision not to prosecute.

"It's unfortunate for Ed, his family, and all cyclists on the streets of LA that, once again, a driver that hit a cyclist and fled the scene will incur no criminal penalties or prosecution." Ross Hirsch, Magos's attorney and local cycling advocate said that, "It's also unfortunate that because of the driver's apparent lack of insurance that yet another cyclist may be left holding the bag for personal injury and property damage suffered as a result of this driver's actions," added Hirsch.

News of this flagrant injustice spread quickly throughout the cycling community. LACBC, one of the groups advocating for cyclists in LA County, is bringing concerned cyclists together the best way they know how, riding together to show the City that Ed Magos and other victims like him are not alone. "As cyclists, we are united in a common cause of justice and equal treatment on the streets of LA. We are no longer going to be pushed to the side," says Jen Klausner, LACBC's Executive Director.

According to an LAPD 2008 (09) Statistical Report 23 % of collisions involving bicyclists are hit-and -runs. With the rise in number of cyclists we see on the road, this is increasingly becoming an issue on our streets.

"What's frustrating is the public sees cyclists as a minority that operates outside the law, and that if they get hurt they had it coming to them," states Aaron Freeman, a bicycle commuter. "That attitude is unacceptable coming from anyone, but criminal when it comes from the LAPD and the DA's office. Hopefully, with this ride, we can demand that this be the last time a cyclist falls through the cracks of justice."

Ed Magos will not be able to attend the ride, as he is still recovering from his injuries and unable to ride his bicycle.

Last edited by hairnet; 02-24-10 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 02-24-10, 01:27 AM
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hopefully magos can pursue a civil lawsuit for suffering, medical bills, damage, et al.
what kind of person actually gets out of the car, looks over the situation, then rolls
off?? i'd kinda understand if she never stopped because she was: under the influence,
scared of the neighborhood/physical retribution if she got out of the car, an illegal alien,
unlicensed, a fugitive...to actually stop, get out, get back in, and leave?!

i suppose she thought it important enough to merit a stop in to the local po-po
station at her convenience-but it wasn't important enough at the time. running
late for work? drop off/pick up kids? starbux?

would the city attorney/da feel differently if magos had been a pedestrian...or...
does it just not matter what you do in a car to whomever, as long as they are
not in a car?

Last edited by diphthong; 02-24-10 at 02:24 AM. Reason: making slightly disjointed awkward final sentence slightly less disjointed awkward final sentence
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Old 02-24-10, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
does it just not matter what you do in a car to whomever, as long as they are
also not in a car?
seemingly, we are all second class citizens when out of the box
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Old 02-24-10, 02:31 AM
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unfortunately, i fear you are all too (frequently) correct-especially here in kar kulture kalifornia.
wouldn't it be nice to have one day a month (last sunday of the month?) as a car free day
(emergency/police/power co. vehicles excepted) in a major metropolis downtown region?
la, sd, sf, sj, fresno, sac, long beach, oakland, hell anywhere?
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Old 02-24-10, 07:28 AM
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It will take a high profile biker to get injured or killed to get the attention of the police, such as a elected official or "celebrity". Then they will use the entire power of the government to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
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Old 02-24-10, 12:26 PM
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There's no revenue to the city or county in pursuing this, only costs. If a cyclist rolls a stop sign however; there is revenue to be had.
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Old 02-24-10, 01:34 PM
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Hmm.
Maybe make that one-day-per-month only apply to law enforcement/DAs: they have to ride bikes on that day.
Sometimes changes in perspective result in changes in action.

No, I'm not blaming the police. They handed the case to the DA, who declined to press charges.

Originally Posted by ooga-booga
unfortunately, i fear you are all too (frequently) correct-especially here in kar kulture kalifornia.
wouldn't it be nice to have one day a month (last sunday of the month?) as a car free day
(emergency/police/power co. vehicles excepted) in a major metropolis downtown region?
la, sd, sf, sj, fresno, sac, long beach, oakland, hell anywhere?
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Old 02-24-10, 01:56 PM
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Did I read that right? She's driving a Porsche Cayenne and driving with no insurance? I thought there were stiff penalties for that at least.
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Old 02-24-10, 04:49 PM
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lame
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Old 02-24-10, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rumpled
There's no revenue to the city or county in pursuing this, only costs. If a cyclist rolls a stop sign however; there is revenue to be had.
It's just odd. I have a friend that was hit a while ago, the driver was caught because someone get the plates and all that, is going in tomorrow for the arraignment.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:56 AM
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https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...er-rights.html
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Old 02-25-10, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395
Did I read that right? She's driving a Porsche Cayenne and driving with no insurance? I thought there were stiff penalties for that at least.
If there's one thing I was surprised to learn in my adulthood, it's that a penalty on paper means nothing in this society. Some are enforced, some are lightly enforced, and some are completely ignored. I learn more of the ignored ones all the time... usually as the "victim".
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Old 02-25-10, 12:50 PM
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So do I understand this right, the city/county/state is supposed to spend taxpayer dollars to prosecute, and possibly provide board and room in the event of conviction, to an individual who may have violated the state vehicle code, when the real issue is whether the drivers conduct caused injury/damages to another individual, and the real penalty would be requiring the driver to compensate the injured party for the damages caused which is a civil issue, not a criminal one??
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Old 02-25-10, 12:51 PM
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I'm not sure if anything is going to change with regards to this case, but it seems like the LAPD are making some changes because of it. See the LA Times article that came out today:

https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...blog+(L.A.+Now)
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Old 02-25-10, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JustMe
So do I understand this right, the city/county/state is supposed to spend taxpayer dollars to prosecute, and possibly provide board and room in the event of conviction, to an individual who may have violated the state vehicle code, when the real issue is whether the drivers conduct caused injury/damages to another individual, and the real penalty would be requiring the driver to compensate the injured party for the damages caused which is a civil issue, not a criminal one??
I agree with you for the most part. The first thing cyclists do when they hear about an accident is scream bloody murder and demand that the driver be tarred, feathered, and jailed for eternity. In this case, the cyclist is lucky enough to have the driver's identity and even somewhat of a confession. That should make a civil case quite easy. If she doesn't have money, I'm in favor with auctioning off that Porsche for a start

As for criminal, the driver left the scene of an accident (felony) and was driving without insurance (infraction iirc). One carries a jail sentence and the other carries a fine, and she should have her license suspended.
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Old 02-25-10, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by idoru2005
I'm not sure if anything is going to change with regards to this case, but it seems like the LAPD are making some changes because of it. See the LA Times article that came out today:

https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/02/in-a-first-lapd-chief-vows-to-better-protect-cyclists-train-officers-on-biker-rights.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+lanowblog+(L.A.+Now)
Yeah, I just saw that. It's good to hear. I've gone to several meets with advocates like Stephen Box and Alex Thompson for the new bikeway plan https://soapboxla.blogspot.com/2010/0...-backbone.html and heard LAPD reps. talk about laws and things LAPD can do.

Maybe nothing will happen with the case, but people are sending out emails to the district attorney and city attorney about the issue and how hit and runs are getting out of control in this city. It feels like there is at least one every week now being written about online.
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Old 02-25-10, 06:12 PM
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The Porsche was leased...
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Old 02-25-10, 09:27 PM
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The Porsche was leased, and there wasn't any liability insurance?? That doesn't jive. The leasing company would demand complete coverage for liability and collision to protect their investment in the vehicle. Otherwise, one might say the leasing company was negligent in allowing a lessee to operate the vehicle without that coverage, and since vehicle collisions are a reasonably foreseable occurrence, hence the necessity for demonstrating financial responsibility under the Calif. Veh. Code, the leasing company is liable for any and all damages resulting from the operation of the vehicle.

Whata ya mean there isn't any insurance???
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Old 02-26-10, 10:46 AM
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Agreed. When I bought my car, they made me show proof of full insurance coverage to the financing company. A couple years later, my insurance company accidentally dropped my coverage for a day and then corrected it by the end of the day, but that was enough to cause my lender to send me a letter requesting proof of continued coverage. However, I believe the only thing they cared about was collision and comprehensive. The leasing company might have a blanket policy to cover that part, and the rest of the liability is on the driver.
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Old 02-26-10, 05:07 PM
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Your lender technically doesn't own the vehicle, and yes, their only real interest is in protecting their financial interest represented by a lien on the value of the vehicle. In a lease situation, the lessor owns the vehicle. I'm sure the leasing company has made an attempt, as do car rental companies like Hertz/Avis etc., to exhonorate themselves through some sort of disclaimer in their lease agreement, but the injured 3rd party isn't a party to that agreement, and as your experience demonstrates, an insurer can promptly notify a lien holder, or lessor, of the lapse in coverage which should prompt a repossession. Failure to take appropriate measurers might be considered as as the requisite negligence conduct, in the absence of some unforseable intervening cause.
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Old 02-26-10, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JustMe
Your lender technically doesn't own the vehicle...
They got to hold the pink slip until I paid the loan off in full, but yeah, I see what you're saying. I was always the registered liable person.
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Old 02-27-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by checksix
It will take a high profile biker to get injured or killed to get the attention of the police, such as a elected official or "celebrity". Then they will use the entire power of the government to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
Well there was that doctor that got put in jail for road raging the cyclists. That was a great statement of faith that cyclists, at least in part, are protected by law.
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Old 02-27-10, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead
Well there was that doctor that got put in jail for road raging the cyclists. That was a great statement of faith that cyclists, at least in part, are protected by law.
But only because of the self-incriminating statements he made to the police and on the 911 call. Without those I think it's unlikely that he would have been prosecuted.
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Old 02-27-10, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395
Did I read that right? She's driving a Porsche Cayenne and driving with no insurance? I thought there were stiff penalties for that at least.
Thats the bit that got me, around here, if the police catch you without insurance, its an automatic $2,500 fine, and the cars gets towed. You don't get it back without proof of insurance either.
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Old 02-27-10, 08:51 PM
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Maybe nothing will happen with the case, but people are sending out emails to the district attorney and city attorney about the issue and how hit and runs are getting out of control in this city. It feels like there is at least one every week now being written about online.
[/QUOTE] In this wonderful Barrio of the San Fernando Valley close to 40% of traffic accidents are hit and run. I have personally witnessed a few in the last year or two. Sometimes neither party even bothers to get out of their cars they just drive away figuring that they don't have insurance and neither does the other guy. In portions of the Valley over 40% of the cars on the road are driven by unlicenced and uninsured drivers. Talk about a third world country, were in one here.
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