Well, I am one of the most unlikely defenders of urban bicyclists. Bicycling as a “hobby” doesn’t bother me, but what does is that many of these cyclists wear this urban soldier defender-of-bicycling petulance that manifests itself as reckless riding and the ensuing self-entitled defiant command of traffic roads that are clogged with thousands of multi-ton veering rockets of vehicular steel and their arrogant notion that regardless of how ridiculously they tempt fate, ultimately it’s their right to do so because they are driving a little bicycle. I give bicyclists all the room I can when driving, because frankly, even if they do something (technically) that is their fault, I do not look forward to wiping blood, skin, entrails and hair from my suspension. Not to mention the investigations that will follow in the subsequent police and DMV involvement. It’s not something anyone would look forward to. Take this from someone who has dealt with the “system” for many, many years. I absolutely do not need the irritation, so I stay as far from them as possible. So it is infuriating when they intrude on my vehicular roadway in the face of logic and safety.
Hence, it’s a cold day in hell when I defend a bicyclist, but something happened here in Los Angeles last month that has received lots of news coverage locally. It is so egregious that even I feel bad for the guy.
It’s turned into a puzzle because the culprit/attempted murderer, has not been caught, and the incident happened over a month ago, on Sunday, February 17.
At approximately 11:30am on that day, Damian Kevitt and his wife were bicycling westbound on Zoo Drive, an urban rustic byway that borders LA’s large Griffith Park outer boundaries. Sunday afternoon traffic was typically heavy, and a driver in a minivan made a quick turn to enter the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). There are numerous accounts of what happened, but none are very good. Essentially, the driver became impatient and turned before he should have, and in his “haste,” he ran over Kevitt, who was thrown to the ground, unconscious (though other accounts contradict his state). Reports state that Kevitt was thrown on the hood and windshield of the minivan which continued onto the freeway, accelerating even, while dragging Kevitt’s body underneath for 600 feet into the entrance of the southbound road. Eventually his body dislodged and a couple of witnesses came to his rescue, including a physician. But the minivan continued and never stopped. Kevitt was gravely injured. His right leg was amputated below the knee and his left leg is in danger, even now, he suffered serious “road rash” from being dragged by the car, and has about 20 broken bones. He has undergone multiple surgeries and doctors predict more. He is actually a lucky fellow in spite of appearances.
Normally the story stops here, or in my case, it never begins. Injured bicyclists are a dime ‘o’ dozen due to their previously mentioned disregard and arrogance when it comes to inherently dangerous streets.
However, the story drew my interest when I read one of many follow up stories related to the accident. Kevitt is now well enough to speak to the news media. He has implored the hit and run driver to turn himself in. The focus has now turned to the mystery driver who has remained elusive. I was intrigued by the scads of indirect evidence which points to a truth no one in the media acknowledged. I was amazed by this absence of honest truth. The mainstream news outlets are so constrained by what they can report that they leave it to the reader to piece together the realities. I just wonder if this reluctance to report the unspoken truth might impede the investigation.
After perusing the random ricocheting URLs that stemmed from this story, I happened upon this gathering/benefit scheduled to take place today at Griffith Park near the location where Kevitt was struck.
Today’s gathering and public outreach effort in the park was timed to line up with the time Kevitt was struck, 11:30 a.m., and in the area of the accident location. Organizers say the driver–whose minivan is described as an older gray Toyota Sienna with a “for sale” sign in the rear window–may have been playing soccer at or near the field prior to the accident.
It slowly fell into place. Los Angeles is filled with Sunday adult casual soccer players. And 95% of them are my people. I point out the “casual” and “adult” so as to differentiate this style from the many AYSO leagues which boast of White parental zealotry and competitive fixations within league structures. The Hispanic just plays in a loosely regulated fashion, more for their own enjoyment. And they are usually composed of grown men. In other words, anyone who might be able to drive away from a Sunday soccer competition. And especially, someone who might be driving the vehicle described in the news reports:
On Sunday February 17, 2013, Damian Kevitt was struck by a light colored minivan, possibly a gray Toyota Sienna which might have had a “for sale” sign posted in the rear window, on Zoo Drive near the Ferraro Soccer Complex and Dog Park. The driver was possibly wearing a soccer jersey.
The suspect drove an an old minivan with a “for sale” sign in the rear window. Uh-huh. This is the tailor-made profiling requirement for a Hispanic soccer player that the police know but the news cannot utter. And furthermore, did one of the witnesses volunteer an ethnicity? How can this be?
Bicyclists, as a group of aficionados, are too nice. Even the insurrectionist “cyclelicious” refrained from uttering the magic term.
Let’s all say it.
The hit and run driver was probably Hispanic. Without question. Several witnesses described a male in a soccer jersey. Griffith Park is awash in Hispanic soccer players on Sunday morning. White soccer moms don’t drive old minivans with “for sale” signs and furthermore, they don’t pull those wild left turns, and they rarely travel south on the 5 Freeway, unless they live in Orange County, but OC denizens do not generally come to Los Angeles in order to play or watch soccer on Sunday mornings.
By process of elimination, I announce herewith that the suspect in the hit and run collision with Damian Kevitt is Hispanic. The brown elephant in this room that none of the news reports can point out, and apparently, none of the witnesses either.
A reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of the driver and people scratch their heads. They wonder why the driver hasn’t been apprehended. They are pulling out all the stops.
I bet the driver’s self-contained world consists of acquaintances and extended family who who don’t even read the English news. A non-English participatory life like this is very possible in Third World pockets of Los Angeles.
Perhaps Kevitt and his helpers need to reach out to the Spanish-speaking public in order to alert viewers to a recreational soccer player in an old Toyota van which suddenly experienced some front end damage last month. Have they done this? Perhaps, but I doubt it, for to do so might imply the betrayal of shameful prejudices. Well, I’m here, in all my Mexican glory, to shout in everyone’s faces…the hit and run driver was Mexican. He was headed south on the 5, probably toward Boyle Heights or Lincoln Heights or East LA.
Just say it. It won’t hurt.