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Bicyclist killed in crash with sheriff's cruiser ID'd by family

October 8, 2012 |  1:41 pm

A bicycle rider struck and killed by an L.A. County sheriff's patrol car in Inglewood early Monday has been identified by family members as 45-year-old Alfonso Cerda.

Deputies said they were trying to stop Cerda near the 3500 block of West 107th Street and believed he was armed with a handgun, according to a Sheriff's Department statement.

Cerda's bicycle collided with the patrol car at 1:25 a.m.; he died from his injuries. Authorities said Monday morning that they had not located the handgun.

The Inglewood Police Department, with help from the Sheriff’s Department's traffic services detail, was investigating the crash.

A woman who identified herself as Cerda’s girlfriend, Adriana Ortiz, stood near the scene of the accident later Monday and was darkly sarcastic about the event.

“He always said he would be famous some day. Well baby, you are now famous,” Ortiz said.

At least a handful of civil rights activists have called on the Sheriff’s Department to reexamine their policies and procedures for how to chase bicyclists.

“The death of a bicyclist following a crash with a sheriff’s vehicle points up the pressing need for a thorough review or implementation of a strong policy by the Sheriff’s Department regarding chases and confrontations with bicycle suspects,” said a joint statement from Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable and Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Assn.


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-- Mark Boster in Inglewood and Ari Bloomekatz