LAPD probes unruly 'Taco Tuesday' bike ride
Los Angeles Police are investigating a large-scale spontaneous bike ride along the coast that involved about 200 young adults and youth.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said that the bike riders, of various ages and ethnicities, come together monthly for a bike ride dubbed "Taco Tuesdays."
Smith said larger groups of cyclistss have gathered without any significant incident in the past, but many riders Tuesday became unruly, blocking traffic and committing a host of other moving violations.
At least six were cited for various violations including blocking traffic and running red lights and stop signs. Four others were cited for curfew violations. A van that was filming the group's exploits was impounded after it parked in a tow-away zone.
The ride often begins along the coast between Venice and Playa del Rey and takes spontaneous routes.
"They were riding around in circles, blocking all traffic and doing what they could to cause trouble," Smith said.
After police responded, the group split some heading south on coastal bike path. Others headed south toward Imperial Highway, turned around and rode in the direction of Culver City. There were no immediate reports from Culver City police of citations because the group of riders had largely dispersed by the time they got there, Smith said.
After an increase in bicycle accidents in the central area of the city, LAPD asked motorists and cyclists earlier this month to do their best to share the roads.
That media event came after the Los Angeles City Council's approval in July of a new anti-harassment law designed to protect bicyclists from hostile motorists. The ordinance makes it a crime to threaten cyclists verbally or physically. It also allows riders to sue drivers without having to wait for the city to press criminal charges first.
But the LAPD has said it would not hesitate to throw the book at cyclists who fail to obey traffic laws or operate their bicycles while impaired.
-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter/anblanx)