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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Naked Bike Ride rolls into trouble in Echo Park*

It was not all fun and games during Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride.  Police launched a hate crime investigation after several cyclists were assaulted by motorists who beat the riders and yelled anti-gay slurs as the cyclists pedaled their way from Silver Lake into Echo Park on Saturday afternoon. At least two of the riders suffered minor injuries during what police describe as an unprovoked attack that was partially captured on the video shown above.

“The suspects were shouting at the riders, when one of them exited their car and punched one of cyclists, using anti-gay slurs,” said Lt.Wes Buhrmester in a comment to this post. “The punch was unprovoked and a blind-side, and knocked the cyclist to the ground. The second suspect exited and committed a similar act against a second victim, knocking him to the ground, then throwing his bicycle at him. More anti-gay slurs were shouted, and the suspects left.”

The YouTube video clip above shows a shirtless cyclist being thrown to the ground amid the sounds of honking horns and yelling on Sunset Boulevard near Waterloo Street.  It’s not clear from the video what triggered the fight or how it ended. The video was shot and uploaded by a person who described himself as a Silver Lake resident named Johnny. He said he was recording the cyclists when the fight broke out at 4:56 p.m.  Johnny provided an account of what happened:

While driving down Sunset, we came upon on a nude bike ride that looked like a protest of some sort. People were having fun it seemed, we took a video to document the fun things that happen in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, some guys behind us in traffic, got out of their car to beat up the riders. I don’t know what provoked them to do such a thing. All I heard them yelling was “faggot” at the riders.  In the shaky video, its hard to see, but one of the guys picks up a bike and slams it into a rider.  It happened so quick, but we got the license plate info.

The two riders who sustained injuries – one sustained a cut lip, the other suffered a bloody nose and scrapes to his face – declined emergency medical treatment, Buhrmester said.  He provided the following description of two male suspects who were riding in a Honda:

The first suspect is described as a male, 20 years old, black hair, brown eyes, 5-8, 180 pounds, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. The second suspect is a male, late 20s, black “buzz cut” hair, dark complexion, 5-10, 200-250 pounds, wearing a blue shirt with blue jeans. If anyone has information, you can either call or e-mail me at the addresses below (confidentiality will apply, other than me referring your information to detectives), or call Rampart Detective Division at (213) 484-3450. Refer to DR No. 11-0212143. There are some leads upon which detectives are acting.

* This post has been updated from the original version.

91 comments

  1. gosh i hope they catch that guy, i’m so sick of bad blood on the eastside, esp when it’s homophobic and completely unprovoked. It’s like being in highschool

  2. I do not condone homophobia or violence under any circumstances, but I just knew that something negative was going to come of this. These people were being obnoxious. Many were riding on sidewalks instead of bike lanes. I saw one group of girls in pasties giggle and make fun of a woman who shielded her 9ish year old son from the sight. I saw another act indigent when a group of teenage boys stared incredulously, as if the boys’ reaction weren’t the normal response to a literally naked women on the street at 3pm. This is a city, not a college campus. You need to have street smarts, self-awareness, and show respect for others with whom you share a densely population environment.

  3. soft-core porn for kids to see in public in the middle of the day, way to go…

  4. pornography |pôrˈnägrəfē|
    noun
    printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.
    ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek pornographos ‘writing about prostitutes,’ from pornē ‘prostitute’ + graphein ‘write.’
    So, how is this “pornographic?”

  5. Yesterday at about 4:45 pm, the ride was proceeding down Sunset Blvd. at Waterloo St., when officers on bikes were flagged down regarding a battery. Several riders were accosted by the two male occupants of a silver four-door Honda Accord. According to victim and witness statements, the suspects were shouting at the riders, when one of them exited their car and punched one of cyclists, using anti-gay slurs. The punch was unprovoked and a blind-side, and knocked the cyclist to the ground. The second suspect exited and committed a similar act against a second victim, knocking him to the ground, then throwing his bicycle at him. More anti-gay slurs were shouted, and the suspects left.

    There was some video reviewed by the officers, and retained for further investigation. Detectives responded to the scene. The first victim sustained a cut lip, while the second suffered a bloody nose and scrapes to his face. Neither wished emergency medical treatment and will seek their own aid.

    The first suspect is described as a male, 20 years old, black hair, brown eyes, 5-8, 180 pounds, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. The second suspect is a male, late 20s, black “buzz cut” hair, dark complection, 5-10, 200-250 pounds, wearing a blue shirt with blue jeans. If anyone has information, you can either call or e-mail me at the addresses below (confidentiality will apply, other than me referring your information to detectives), or call Rampart Detective Division at (213) 484-3450. Refer to DR No. 11-0212143. There are some leads upon which detectives are acting.

    It’s unfortunate that even in the 21st century, this type of thinking, conduct and malignant heart still occurs.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  6. Forgot to mention, the incident is being handled as a hate crime.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  7. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, when is your department going to start working the new Echo Park like it should be? If the city is going to let events like this happen and hand out liquor licenses like candy then this area needs to be policed like Hollywood. How many more people need to get killed, shot and beat up before you help us out? That is a question looking for an answer, not a statement. Eventually, if this current negligent behavior continues that aids in crimes against the good people of Echo Park, someone working for the city will be held accountable. If your department can’t do anything to help us out, please quit and let someone else do the job. What do you have to say about this?

  8. Hmm. Considering these people, at least some of them, were going naked down the street to seek attention, and LAPD seems to not have an issue with that (I think that is a good attitude), why do we make people convicted of a single count of misdemeanor indecent exposure register as sex offenders (as well as suffer all the other constraints on sex offenders) for the rest of their lives with the only way out from under that being to apply for a pardon?!

  9. thats bullshit why are the riding naked to begin with its disrespectful theres kids out there thats just sick

  10. @Enough

    wth? Lt Buhrmester is good enough to respond at length to this incident and express what I think is a very forward thinking attitude, and you ask for his resignation? I’m grateful LAPD is pursuing this seriously and handling it as a hate crime. As for the “new” Echo Park, now that you live here, perhaps you can begin circulating a petition asking for a change of name from Echo Park to New Echo Park or to say, Yodel Lanes.

  11. Enough,

    This will sound like excuse-making, but here goes. Each division is given a certain amount of officers, utilizing a formula that takes into account crime, resident population and visitor population. Hollywood has the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, Hollywood & Highland, and other high-profile venues which draw huge tourist numbers. Tourists are not more meaningful to the Department or the City, but the larger numbers provide for more opportunities for predators to act upon potential victims.

    Yesterday, for the ride, units from all five divisions in Operations-Central Bureau were assigned. Unfortunately, the incident occurred, but all criminal activity cannot be stopped. These suspects clearly have no impulse control, and acted on their prejudice. I honestly don’t believe a heavy police presence would have stopped such small-minded barbarism.

    As for liquor licenses, those are issued by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control. Each license applicant is reviewed. And as evidenced in past threads on this site, it’s not an easy sell (witness the June 8 dialogue re a new 7-Eleven attempting to sell beer and wine). I would respectfully ask for some further information to show (not prove) a correlation between liquor licensing and crime. A correlation between alcohol and crime is a definite given. Licensing is a separate issue.

    I do appreciate your passion, Enough, and don’t mind being called out. But I will volley the ball back into your court. What more should the Department be doing to reduce crime? And I’m not implying we are doing everything we can or should. I always like fresh eyes on an issue.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  12. Oh no, naked people!

  13. Why would you fail to mention “hispanic” in the description?

  14. The “NEW ECHO PArK” ????
    What the ?
    How insulting and ignorant !
    What is this “”New ” Echo Park you speak of ?
    As long as I’ve lived here since 1966 its always been Echo Park , not new or old but home !
    What a dumb statement !
    It goes to show how clueless some of the people that move in to the neighborhood are .
    As if to say the “old ” Echo Park was a no mans land .
    Please move to a gated community .

  15. Obvious,

    Since you commented, they were Hispanic. Judgement call on my part, leaving it out. There’s enough bitterness evidenced in the crime and some of the posts, didn’t want to add to it.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  16. Lots of angry uneducated people in the city.

  17. I do not go naked in public, much to the relief of the general population. I lost my spandex license years ago. As a thought, perhaps, the perps have a phobia of cigarettes or bundles of sticks and they were still under the grip of what ever party substances the imbibed from the night before. Perhaps the whole incident has a Hunteresque aspect to it that hasn’t revealed its self up to now A bit strange perhaps but no more bizarre that the desire to ride your fixi around au natural.

  18. @ Lt. Wes Buhrmester

    Thanks for once again being the voice of common sense and reason and for being a splendid rep and voice for the LAPD.

    And @ Enough…… a positive volley from you would be helpful. This is a diverse city (in many ways) and the best side of most of us has something constructive to offer!

  19. I’m sorry , but omitting the description of ” hispanic” does nothing but perpetuate the ever present attitude of invisibility that exist among the bad apples on the Eastside. When did reporting the facts become an editorial piece in attempts to lighten the reality of the division that exist between the Latino community and new additions to the neighborhood?
    While I do not condone nude rides or lewd behavior that you are forced to witness it is an even sadder state of affairs when the reporting shows zero culpability or communal responsibilty, it is time for people to be called out for their actions and not silenced in attempts to keep some sort of quiet.
    These thugs show the true face of a number of people in the neighborhood that refuse to accept the change before them, the greening of a neighborhood that used to be dangerous after years of neglect is not a negative and many of the life long residents whom I know are quite happy there property value has increased.
    If the crime was perpetuated by “white supremist” it would be front page news, it is time the community accepts responsibility for its own.

  20. This is not the first mass bike ride that ended in violence toward the bike rides. Violence is wrong but at times understandable.
    The is no excuse for the jerks who did the beating but I do believe the organizers’ of the bike events need to learn from these events that turned violent to ask the riders to BE COOL and RESPECT the communities and folks in the communities they are riding in.
    Maybe a “get to know you event” were the organizers’ and community members have a “mixer” of sort- like teaching community kids’ bike safety or the like. Or a bike decorating contest with prizes. Maybe this could happen in a local park or rec center (Echo Park or Belleview) or school like King or Micheltorena (Both have very cool principals and Friends groups that I am sure would assist in making this happen).
    Doreet

  21. Lt. Wes Buhrmester,
    You’re right, it did sound like “excuse-making” but you are super epic for leaving comments here. Thank you for doing this, you know we need the Internet attention.
    I didn’t see any Lapd in the mix during the bike ride. If anyone has any photos of them in the mix please post for all to see. Perhaps a Lapd bike officer would of been helpful. Anyone with any photos? Please shame me with them, I understand and accept it when I’m wrong.
    I think the last 3 months speak for themselves. A sense of lawlessness can rapidly progress when someone commits a crime and gets away with it. I can list the violent offenses if you like but you already have that list.
    The fact that you left out the bike assailants were Hispanic speaks loudly to the truth that you are trying make us ignore. The “bitterness” you mention is really fear typed out in the comments section. But is that what we are to you? Bitter? Is that what I feel when I walk down the street knowing there has been a larger than normal Hispanic on non-Hispanic crime? Bitter? It’s fear. You carry a gun, we do not.
    Your comment on liquor license and violence not having a correlation is ridiculous. You have to buy the liquor at a store that has a liquor license. In lower income areas there are less cars so people walk home, drink the liquor, walk outside yell at some innocent kid, chase him with a gun and shoot at him. Sound familiar?
    There is no winning an argument on the Internet so just stop, it’s silly. We can go back and forth for ever. I recommend you go outside, irl, and get the bad guys instead of refreshing this screen waiting for my response so you can convince me all is well.

    @ Sandy Driscoll, you have a super cute dog.
    @ Martin, I did not ask for his resignation. But I’m sorry I got you so worked up that you had to use the word “Yodel.” My bad. Btw, I’ve lived here for 15+ years. @ Buzzkill, again my bad. It’s the same old Echo Park you speak of. Sorry I ruined your morning coffee. You got way pissed!

  22. @ Enough, Thanks for the compliment, dude.

    Maybe the LAPD bike riders were undercover? Oh, noooo………I guess that wouldn’t work for this bike ride!

  23. Report all people in the nude

    Wow how stupid can you people be to ride nude in public. All that were riding there bikes in the nude should be ashamed of yourself. There were kids out in public! what were you thinking. There are other ways to protest this is not one of them. I am going to do my part not and report everybody to there employer. I happen to be a background specialist of a very larg company. If anybody has any pictures of nude bike riders or videos I will post up a website where you can send them to. You can do it on your own if you like just go to facebook and look for world naked bike riders los angeles 2011 page get your pictues and surf through and find them. They are dummies they alway post were they work. Just send a copy to there employer. People get fired every day for stuff they do on facebook. Even if they don’t work there is a data base of where the keep files on people so that when you do apply for a job this will stand out.

    write to your LAPD and your councilmen and let them know you do want them to have any more permits on this event.

    What ever happen to the good old days when people respected them self and others. For all that went nude you are killing off respect what ashame

  24. Enough,

    It really just sounds like you’re afraid of Latinos. Where are you getting your “larger than normal Hispanic on non-Hispanic crime” stats from?

    As for “handing out liquor licenses like candy”, it’s incredibly hard to get a liquor license in LA. For the most part, you have to buy an existing bar or restaurant with an existing license, and they’re not cheap. There seem to be just as many bars in Echo Park as there were 5 years ago, they’ve just become more frequented by the inhabitants of the “new echo park”.

    Attacking the Lt. for posting on here instead of being out there getting the “bad guys” is lame. How often you get to hear from the police directly on what’s happening in your neighborhood? You really sound like a grump.

  25. Did u guys know at the same time the attack happen on the bike riders, two people robbed
    A liquor at sunset and Douglas and Robbed the art gallery store down the street. But thanks to some awesome citizens they intervened and beat and held the suspects and flagged down an officer who was passing by.. Street justice at it’s best!.

  26. Certainly violent assault and homphobic comments aren’t acceptable but I don’t believe rolling naked through a predominately working class and historically Catholic neighborhood shows any sense of restraint either. The sophomoric desire to dangle your bits over a bicycle seat and ride around as if this is some sort of empowering example to set for the community is reprehensible at best. As an action, I personally find it neither impressive nor particularly relevant to anything whatsoever.

    Considering Echo Park wasn’t some neighborhood you’d show your face in at night ten years ago, you should see it as a sign of “progress” that a full on riot didn’t break out and these people didn’t get bottles and stones thrown at their heads for riding butt naked through a family neighborhood on a weekend.

    Although you may believe that spending over half a million dollars on 2 bedroom bungalow may entitle you to a lot of things, I think you should understand where you are and the neighborhood that Echo Park still is before you decide to disrobe outdoors. Oh and to the indignant people wondering where the police were to protect them from criminals, I think indecent exposure is still a crime. Count your blessings.

  27. How do we know this was unprovoked? I got my mirror kicked out by one of these naked bikers after I honked my horn a few times when they blocked my turn. I wasn’t being aggressive, I wasn’t driving dangerously. I was just simply trying to make my turn. There was a gap in the bikers where I started to go and a bunch of them picked up their pedaling and pushed through to where I couldn’t go or else I would’ve hit someone. Luckily my mirror bends all the way back so It didn’t break off.

    I didn’t get out and cause a commotion because I knew I would be labeled the bad guy automatically.

  28. @Tyson- What does being Cathlic have to do with this? I’m Catholic and I would have been like the guys who shot the video, i.e. laughing and amused.

    Also, I do not think the folks who bought houses in Echo park are the ones riding naked – peeps who ride bikes naked tned to be hipsters and twitter-ettes who rent apartments in Highland Park and downtown etc.

  29. @Enough

    Were you in the bike ride? I participated in the ride and although there weren’t officers riding in the group itself, there was law enforcement encountered all along our 14 mile ride. It seemed like every time we turned a corner there was a police vehicle in sight. Two officers on bicycles (not naked) rode past our group while we were on the L.A River trail, making sure folks stayed in the proper lane.

    That said, I want to thank the LAPD for their restrained presence and for being so cool about the NUDITY. And thank you, Lt. Buhrmester, for your voice of reason in your postings here.

    It was a fun and peaceful event marred only by this singular incident that happened in the last 1/4 mile or so of the ride, near the back of the pack. Otherwise, all along the way, folks were stepping out of their homes and businesses with camera phones running – laughing and enjoying the spectacle that was riding past.

  30. This is ridiculous. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the naked bike ride.. the attacks were unprovoked. And, even if someone had said something to a driver.. does that REALLY warrant violence?

  31. Suspect Descriptors That Matter

    I actually thought it was refreshing that the suspect descriptions referred to specific characteristics of the people, rather than using generic labels that could cover people of a wide range of appearances. It’s far more accurate to note someone’s hair color and nature of complexion, than to use labels like “white” “Hispanic” or “Black”. I know some “white” people who have darker complexions than some Latinos, and some Latinos who have darker complexions than some Black people.

    Using generic labels can be both over- and under- inclusive. If a suspect is seen as and described as Latino or Black, then this description automatically includes people who may have absolutely no resemblance whatsoever, increasing the likelihood that someone will be targeted needlessly, thus wasting their time and the police’s time. It also excludes people who might be mistaken for one race in the heat of an incident, but are actually another race, increasing the likelihood that they won’t be considered a potential suspect, thus leaving a crime unsolved.

  32. @Tyson ,
    Echo Park was a neighborhood and is a neighborhood that I have ALWAYS showed my face at day or night !
    Its always been HOME ….
    Not just someplace to move because it was cool or hip or “new” blah blah blah !
    I welcome all the new like the next guy , but there are still those of us who have lived here through all the ebbs and flows .
    Something the “new ” don’t know anything about .
    Just like anywhere , their are assholes , and there are people who want peace .

    Get over this whole “Echo Park was bad ” shit , because you don’t have a clue .

  33. 1. Looking forward to seeing these fools get arrested and hopefully, humiliated for being morons, while they’re getting all kinds of “faggot” attention in jail. Since running the license plate from the video, checking the reg and showing up a house takes almost no time, this shouldn’t take long.

    2. How can events like this routinely, annually happen in San Francisco, for example, like the annual Bay to Breakers run, where thousands of nude heteros, homos and othero are celebrated by the city as they run from one side to the other?

    3. For those who use the cheap angle “but there were children present, how dare they be nude?”, are you less offended that there was violence executed on the unprovoked in the presence of children?

    4. Citing the sensitivity of a “largely Catholic” neighborhood isn’t the line of defense anyone should talke, as it’s becoming a proven fact that there’s no one more dangerous to children than a Catholic priest. It might be harder to find a Catholic priest who hasn’t fondled a child.

    5. Studies show that the most homophobic men are the ones most sexually aroused by man on man porn. These two must have gotten so hot watching all that sweaty man meat on wheels — mmm, those pumping calf muscles — that they went boner blind. After they run that license plate, looks like two guys are being foisted out of the closet on — how cute — gay pride weekend.

  34. “Think of the children!!!!!”

    Because they’ve never seen/never will see anyone naked…
    Nudity is natural and it’s a part of life. Now, if was a “masturbatory” bike ride, I could understand people being upset….. but it wasn’t.
    Your kids will one day have formed breasts, penises and vaginas too. If you’re too scared to answer when they ask “Mommy, whats that thing?”, then I fear for their futures even more.

    That said, let’s not blame the victim. This is disgusting and those people had no right to assault the cyclists.

  35. “masturbatory bike ride” that would take talent.

  36. I see The Eastsider takes issue with freedom of speech and the subject of morality amongst certain people?

  37. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to take the gangsters’ side on this one. These people were acting like idiots and deserved to get there asses kicked! What kind narcissistic fool rides down sunset blvd in the nude in broad daylight then complains about not having police protection! The police are doing a great job given their resources. Suck it up and think before you decide to act out a drunken idea drafted on a napkin.

  38. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to take the gangsters’ side on this one. These people were acting like idiots and deserved to get there asses kicked! What kind narcissistic fool rides down sunset blvd in the nude in broad daylight then complains about not having police protection! The police are doing a great job given their resources. Suck it up and think before you decide to act out a drunken idea drafted on a bar napkin.

  39. Lt. Buhrmester, you said:
    “Since you commented, they were Hispanic. Judgement call on my part, leaving it out. There’s enough bitterness evidenced in the crime and some of the posts, didn’t want to add to it.”
    What a glaring example of a terrible judgement call. Deliberately omitting the antagonizers’ race is wholly irresponsible on your part. ANY detail that can be provided to the public at the onset of the investigation is critically important. If I saw a silver Accord pull into 7-11 with a 5’9″ white guy with a buzz cut, white tshirt and blue jeans, and decided to call N.E. division to report it, wouldn’t that be a horrible waste of department resources? Don’t patronize us with your feigned white guilt. Report facts as facts. We are all adults capable of drawing our own conclusions. We need you to protect us from violent crime without your projected assumptions of our shortcomings when it comes to our own individual views on race relations. It’s a patronizing and insulting decision on your part , and it pisses me, a law abiding Latino citizen of Echo Park, off.

  40. wow, everything I could’ve thought of and more has already been said here. I’m weighing in here to show continud support for lt. wes buhrmester, who really does represent the best in the LAPD. many thanks as always for reading and commenting here! much appreciated, sir.

  41. Dear Naked Bike Riders,
    Thanks for jacking my side view mirror on your way up Sunset.
    I would have punched you in the face but the homies beat me to it.
    Thanks homies.

  42. i can’t believe there are so many reactionary bigots in the world (including Angeles). why did I ever have kids? the idea of a naked bike ride is not my style (kind of irritating actually); but the idea of beating people while hurling homophobic insults is completely disturbing to me. you can’t go around beating up people you don’t agree with. and anyone who condones this behavior is as problematic as the guys who delivered the beating. The idea that they deserved this is ridiculous.

  43. Dear Naked Bike Riders,

    We reep what we sow in life. If you were trying to make some grand political statement, it was quickly negated by your juvenile, campus style prank and the insulting manner in which you delivered your “message”. I witnessed bikers knock the mirror off a parked car (while laughing and yelling out garbled slogans) at Silver Lake/Berkley, and 2 minutes later (I was driving in a CAR…i’m sure you hate me already) I witnessed 2 parents in a family of 5 waiting for a bus just east of Silver Lake and Sunset attempting to shield their children’s eyes from the spectacle ridiculed, laughed at, yelled at and completely humiliated by your antics. And i’m still, after encountering your moron parade twice in an hour, struggling to decipher what your intended message is. Guess what?? That means you FAILED in a major way. I am far from a prude, but your “ride” was by design intended to provoke the citizens you encounter. It doesn’t surprise me that a few locals have finally had enough of your b.s. and smacked some sense into at least 2 or your suburban rebel riders. I’m sorry you didn’t have a dad around to teach you about pride and mutual respect for the neighbors you share a community with. And by the way, you’re screaming for police protection, while in the commission of a crime? Indecent exposure is a crime, and in fact carries a weighty provision to register as a sex offender if convicted. Too bad the LAPD in Echo Park gives a free pass to trust fund kids with dad issues and a glaring lack of respect for the hispanic Catholic neighborhoods they’ve decided to invade.

  44. Mofo got Brian Stowed.

  45. Haha “Catholic” neighborhood. Jeeez. Catholic priests be fondling little boys. Touching their weiners. Maybe these dudes were lashing out at their papi’s.

  46. I wouldn’t turn this into a racial thing. The Naked Bike Ride happens every year in Mexico City in much greater numbers without incident.

  47. Angeles and Alonso are awful people. Your hearts are dark and cold. You provide no value to our society. Please go away. 

    @alonso – The Lt. literally has no obligation to give us even the slightest update via this excellent blog but chooses to do so in an incredibly polite and detailed manner. He has to be one of just a few cops who goes to this trouble. I’m SO sorry that his description causes you to have a conniption fit like a GD child. 

    @Angeles and other “she was asking for it” commentators. Please take a logic class. PLEASE!

    Anyone else who is crying about it being inappropriate: if this is the thing that offends you perhaps you should open your eyes and complain about the effing billboards that are all over this large metropolis using significantly more “sexualized” advertising than some gross old shriveled up wieners. You are patronizing to the latino, Catholic, and working class (or whatever combination thereof) when you say this attack isn’t a surprise.  “Those people” work in a large city that has strip clubs, prostitutes etc and something tells me that while some of them had their “sensibilities” offended most of them are adults and able to move on. You know, because they have perspective. 

    The attackers who did this do not represent those groups of people.  They are crappy people who might have various levels of excuse (e.g. Abused as children, druggies) but they still are 100% in the wrong and they are the ones who should be getting verbally attacked on this board. 

    – a guy who did not ride in this bike thing and would never go naked in public for a number of reasons. 

  48. @Kelly – I wonder if this was something they did the entire ride? Find my earlier comment above yours, the same thing happened to me. I was actually in my car when one of them kicked out my mirror. Luckily mine bend all the way back so it didn’t snap. BTW- I ride my bike more often than I drive. It’s people like this that make me sometimes feel embarrassed riding around town, thinking people might associate me with them.

  49. We’re wasting so much time name calling and bickering when we could be building the ultimate thunderdome in Echo Park. I don’t think Tina Turner is up to much, she could be a consultant. We could settle these sorts of problems once and for all in this crazy, post-apocalyptic world. Who truly runs Barter Town?

  50. @ Judah,

    I’ve lived in Echo Park since 1987 when I was sent from an abusive home in Oxnard to live with my grandmother at our house on Logan 1 block from Sunset. I own the home now. I am fiercely proud of my neighborhood, and have be proud since the days in the early 90’s when we couldn’t even look out the windows of our home without being shot at. Don’t come to me acting like you have all of the answers. We’ve struggled to make this a livable community for over 20 years. I’m a Mexican-American who has been fed up with gangs, crime and police aversion to our plight SINCE 1987!!! You’re “Lt.” on this blog owes it to our community to divulge ALL facts when it comes to describing violent criminals, ethnicity included. I’m Mexican-American, I came from a horrible home, and by the grace of my wonderful grandmother I now have a LIFE, a respectable position with LA Transit Authority, make a decent living, raise my kids to be the best they can be, and keep a constant eye out for the block i’ve called home for 25 years. Don’t you DARE come into my neighborhood and tell me how things should be run. If an assailant was “hispanic”, report it to the public. You can’t even begin to understand how to crush our pride and collective pursuit of justice. We’ve been here all along, and we’re not going away. We support the LAPD with our hearts and efforts, but ask that Lt. Buhrmester shows us respect by reporting the facts as they are without attempting to shield our perceived “sensibilities”. We can handle the facts, Lt. Buhrmester. We proud Echo Park natives. If you can’t understand this, move to Santa Monica and leave us be.

  51. Master Blaster runs Barter Town.

  52. Wes,
    THANK YOU!

    LAPD is on this case and is taking this assault seriously.
    There is no excuse for people being assaulted for not reason….
    The assailants did not single out anyone in particular they just went after someone…

    Just like the STOW case at Dodger Stadium anyone wearing a Giants uniform.

    This behavior is unacceptable. The added or special charges of being classified as a HATE CRIME brings a whole other dimension to the charges – It makes it a serious crime.

    The LAPD BIKE TASK FORCE is also aware of this incident and will follow it closely.

    Thanks again for your input Wes.

  53. Good morning, fellow readers,

    Interesting dialogue and exchange re this topic. Thanks for the kudos and the criticisms. If you think the Department or I messed up, let me know! I’ve no problem at all with it.

    But lest we stray: two bullies committed a violent hate crime against two victims in our community (for those who haven’t read some of my prior postings, I’m one of the several LAPD officers who lives in the area, I have a house in Montecito Heights). Keep up the passion, and remember that as these types of ugly incidents continue to occur, we’ve all work to do. Especially my co-workers and me.

    I’ll keep the readership posted on the investigation. Have a great work week, all.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  54. The stories about the bikers taunting families at the bus stop are lies. Look at the video and you see a bunch of riders riding straight and quiet. When the “homies” sucker punched the rider there was no retaliation. And to the genius who got her mirror bent, its because you totes drove into traffic dumdum. Next time wait for the ride to go by. I know your fat behind needed to get into the mc donalds drive thru as fast as possible but too bad. Wait an extra 30 seconds.

    To all the catholics. Hahaha keep touching little boy’s weiners Hahahah hahahah!

  55. Street violence is horrible, hope the idiots get busted and good. Glad lic # was recorded.

    In re to public nakedness I’m not personally offended but understand how others would be. As we know Mr. Weiner of NY produced his public nakedness on ‘Net. His (sexual) motivations were obvious diff from Saturday’s riders (political) — but if you go nekkid, get loud in public, get in folks’ faces (with children in tow) and interfere with traffic in Los Angeles, a nearly unpardonable sin, ignore stop signs and lights, generally appear as through you’re enjoying the mess at others’ expense someone could argue there could well have been more violence. Catholic neighborhood or not.

    If you put your butt literally on the line and interfere with other’s pursuite of happiness you might if you’re honest with yourself expect taunts, curses and sorry to say more in some areas of the city. Rightly or wrongly. Have to be a realist, sorry.

    I ran into the tail-end of the ride — btw, 60+ guys’ buttocks viewed from behind makes no positive political statement to me — in Downtown on Spring. I wasn’t inconvenienced, took some shots for fun’s sake (do I post on my FB? prob, old dudes’ saggy butts on somehow more funny than gross).

    Will report I was amused, but in hindsight were I stuck as bulk of group sailed on by hooting and such, interfering with traffic and my time on a weekend I might not have been.

    I like liberal causes, usually vote that way. But I have to say that I suspect a lot of folks these days are tired of getting causes pushed into their face. By saggy butts.

  56. I rode this year (missed the first one last year) and the LAPD we encountered, both in patrol cars and two officers on bicycles on the trail along the LA River, were great. They viewed the Naked Bike Ride for what it was, a peaceful and good natured public protest. Thank you for the tolerance and for watching out for our safety!

  57. @Alonso

    You and I are on the same side of the issue when it comes to whether they should report race/ethnic group but you sounded like a total a-hole and it’s 100% unproductive. Lt. Burhmester obviously goes out of his way to keep up posted – sure he is a civil servant and it’s his duty to stop criminal activity, but he goes above and beyond. Just ask him to report their ethnicity instead of writing a freaking essay berating his decision. He’s pretty reasonable – as shown by his extremely civil response to your request despite the fact that you wrote to him like a jerk.

    I’m sure you’re a great guy and I’m glad you have made the most of your opportunities. I’m glad you are on the lookout for gang activity in order to make this community better. I want you to live here.

    That being said, I will move into your neighborhood if I want. You’re not a native either. You MOVED here in 1987 from Oxnard (good decision)! I moved in 2006, big whoop. Thank you for making Echo Park a nice place to live though.

  58. @Aolonso-

    I’m so bored with folks who think their opinion on issues impacting Echo Park matter more because they have lived here since 19XX. The opinions that matter are those of people who live here NOW.

    As for your opinion on racial profiling, that is your opinion you do NOT speak for the entire Latino population so stop using the royal “we”. There are many Latinos who have a more nuanced and obverse opinion about using race as a descriptor in police reports.

  59. Next year’s ride will be bigger and better.

    And @Judah: ”Those people” [re: the latino, Catholic, and working class ] work in a large city that has strip clubs, prostitutes etc and something tells me that while some of them had their “sensibilities” offended most of them are adults and able to move on. You know, because they have perspective.

    Good point. But further, the latino, Catholic, and working classes all eagerly and routinely frequent strip clubs, prostitutes, sex clubs, cruise in public parks for sex, etc. which is more reason that they can’t be used in this argument as something that needs “protection” from something as universal and innocuous as the temporary flash of another’s nudity.

  60. America is so sexually repressed. Who cares if they were riding naked. Being naked is not something you should be ashamed of.

  61. nobody wants to see any nasty old naked bodies. if u want to be naked do it in ur house dont flash urself to the public

  62. ho speak for the kids we as adults lost the right from wrong

  63. If the sight of some naked dudes was enough to provoke an emotional response from these 2 thugs, they were undoubtedly the gayest people there. Angsty, closeted gays.

  64. Thank you L.t Wes Buhrmester of Rampart Patrol Division. We’ve waited a long time and endured alot of hatred on the road as bike riders. And no the hatred is not just directed at semi-nude riders. Many attacks happen just like this one. It comes unprovoked and blindsided.

    I wish you best of luck in apprehending these two individuals. And be safe out there.

  65. Alexis Montague

    This is disgusting and a I hope those guys are arrested, tried and jailed.

    That being said, these protest/awareness bike rides do sometime cross the line. I can’t speak for this one, since I wasn’t caught up in it, but it seems like when there’s a group of 10 or more “cyclists” riding to prove whatever point they’re proving, they purposely take up a large portion of the road, run red lights and stop signs, and harass people making legal right turns. I think the group mentality sometimes takes over, and they end up stoking people’s dislike about cyclists instead of proving that cars and bikes can peacefully share the road.

    Sort of off topic, but this post sparked a thought.

  66. @Lt. Wes. Were any of these nude bike riders arrested for indecent exposure? I wouldn’t want my young daughter seeing nude male bike riders. This would be a perfect place for a child sex offenders or perv. to go for a bike ride. Do the organizers of this bike ride or the LAPD do any background checks on the riders? No, just what I thought. Fail! I’m not offened by nude people. I just don’t want some perv., or child sex offender to join your ride. I 100% agree with a’s comment. @arch & all the other nature lovers, if there were child sex offender or perv. on this ride, lets send them to your house for your enjoyment. You can let them stay with you, since you love them so much.

  67. @ELiAH
    You need a better grasp of the English language before you go on your puritanical tirade, go back to school before you have more welfare.

  68. @shadowpark. Thanks keyboard editor. Your name sounds like you are a pervert, sexual offender. I’m not trying to write a book. I’m just taking a stand for all of the kids in the neighborhood, they do not need to see nude adults.

  69. Alexis Montague

    Why in the wold would the LAPD have to do a background check on people in a bike ride? What in the world is a child sex offender? Why in the world do nature lovers love them and want them staying at their houses?

  70. Alexis Montague

    And shadowpark’s loose grip on capitalization and sentence structure add an ironic twist to his/her “point”.

  71. @Alexis–I just L’ed-O-L. That’s why grammar & punctuation are fun.

  72. The Department viewed this event, after consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, as a constitutionally protected activity. This will draw some disagreement, but they are our source for legal opinions, and we are guided by their advice. No background checks are done on people engaged in a lawful gathering.

    There were no reports of unlawful behavior of a sexual or indecent exposure nature by the riders. If they kicked mirrors or damaged vehicles, that is vandalism, and if those victimized wish to file a report, they may do so telephonically or in person at any station. Beforehand, the organizers were warned against those situations which could result in criminal charges. This included exposure issues, as well as obeying the rules of the road.

    If one thinks this event should not recur, they should contact their City Councilmember and make their thoughts known. This is not the first year the event took place.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

  73. And further, for those who think this event has a right and SHOULD recur, they should contact their City Councilmember and make their thoughts known.

    EliAH, you seem to be profoundly concerned about pedophiles. As there weren’t any nude children on the ride, what exactly is your point? Do you have the time and interest to run background checks on everyone passing by in a car? Don’t use “all children” merely as a lazy scapegoat for your own insecurities or agenda. Kids (and this ambiguous, blanket “protection” of them) are used far too often to disguise an adult-originited moralizing agenda.

  74. Luiza Mavropoulos

    Don’t know how to feel on this one???? On one side people have a right to freedom of expression, on the other hand I felt weird seeing a man with a nut sack the size of elephant balls excuse me for being so blunt. My cell had died so I have no pix to show. So if my ole man wants to sun bathe his bare behind on the deck it’s OKEY now?????? I’m confused. What door was just opened?. We Latino people are funny about nudity you keep it behind closed doors, there is a clash of culture thinking. Most of the moms I know where so angry saying “quen le quere ver los hevos a esos vejo’s cocino’s apestosos” Que estan pensando los politico’s. their words not mine. (My written espanol is not that great so excuse the spelling please). Translation who wants to see old mens stinkygenitals, what are the politicans thinking???? Please educate me on this issue.

  75. @Luiza. You want to know who wants to see that. Shadowpark & William do, in fact they are probably checking each other out as we speak. @William, don’t force you penis watching agenda on me & my kids. Do what you like, have a nude bike ride in 2012. I just hope that the organizers of this event will give us some advanced notice, so that I can keep my kids away. If you want to really know why I am concern, just type in 90026 on the Megan’s law website.

  76. I’m far more offended on behalf of families with young children by the “Fully XPOSED” billboards I see in densely populated areas (mainly hispanic, so who gives an ef, right?) along Melrose Ave. in E. Hollywood / Melrose Hill area. I cringe everytime I see a parent walking her young kids across the busy intersection with some glassy-eyed, slack-jawed “gentleman’s club” stripper peering down at them as they make haste through the crosswalk.

  77. Not true. Some posser posted the stupid comment using my name, probably William or should I say Dick. Your very funny though! Grow a pair, and use your own name to address me with your reply. I am just a concerned parent. Like I said have fun on your 2012 Nude Bike Ride. Just give us some notice. Thanks!

  78. Frankly, I hope they throw the book at those two homophobes.

    One thing I have to get off my chest though:

    “it’s becoming a proven fact that there’s no one more dangerous to children than a Catholic priest. It might be harder to find a Catholic priest who hasn’t fondled a child.”

    Betcha think all Muslims are terrorists, right William?

  79. “Being naked is not something you should be ashamed of.”

    Depends on who’s naked. Are we talking Megan Fox or Roseanne Barr?

  80. @Armando. According to Luiza’s post, it was more like Roseanne Barr’s ex-husband Tom Arnold.

  81. Slightly off topic, but there is a rash of people impersonating other frequent posters on this blog. Why do people do this? Really, is it soooo hard for you to come up with your own? Seriously, pathetic. And, why would you want other people’s past (and sometimes controversial) opinions to be attributed to you? Or is it the opposite? Do you want to mislead the readers of the blog by misrepresenting somebody’s opinion by imposing your own? If that is the case, I think the conduct comes close to actually being illegal. It is certainly sleazy.

  82. Alexis Montague

    I’d for one like to see Roseanne Barr’s television husband, Walter Sobchak.

  83. While I don’t condone unprovoked attacks, those naked riders should have expected that kind of treatment. They are riding in public, basically forcing their viewpoint upon others. Car drivers have no choice but to look at them, unless they wish to blindly run them over. Predictably, some people don’t like being forced to look at their naked bodies. They become angered and a few take action, both verbally and physically. And where is law enforcement during these naked rides? On an average day, roaming the streets while naked gets you arrested. Why do these bike riders get a free pass? If the bike riders get to break the law, for any reason, then everyone else should also be able to break the law. Trying to arrest a person for assaulting a law-breaking naked person while leaving the naked person alone is hypocrisy. Arrest everyone or arrest none; anything less is not fair.

    If you’re going to be dumb, you better be tough. Riding bicycles while naked is about as dumb as it gets. Calling a simple assault a hate crime is slightly dumber. It’s just simple assault, nothing more.

  84. I am just catching up on these Eastsider stories. What a thread!

    I just need to add my two cents in praise of Lt. Burhmester who continues to impress with his good judgment and professionalism. I specifically want to support his decision to *not* describe the assailants by race. By the description provided (and given the demographics of the specific section of town where the attack(s) took place), it sounds like the assailants could have been Latino. But, they could have also been Armenian, Samoan, Persian, White, Asian (Filipino) or, even, Black. Latinos are composed of many different ethnic groups and our phenotype reflects that. So people from a diverse array of ethnic back-grounds can pass as a Latina/o; and some Latina/os can pass for a diverse array of ethnic groups.

    I am drawing from my own, vast, first-hand experience in this matter. I am Mexican-American and firmly believe people’s assessment of race is highly contextual. When I am walking around in a “historically” Latino neighborhood (such as Echo Park), people will immediately recognize me as Latina. When I am in the West-side or Downtown LA, people will often ask me, in a polite but curious tone, about my “ethnic background.” Coincidence? I don’t think so. There is an undeniable class-angle to race, and in LA, people associate all lower class activities (read: criminal) with Latinos. Indeed, even more specifically, people on this blog often just say “Mexican.” All that to say, Lt. Burhmester’s judgment call, as always, seems spot on to me.

    As for the “nakedness,” I am not easily offended by it, but many people around the City of Los Angeles (including Echo Park) and the United States are sensitive to that. Indeed, I think the people of Echo Park (whether old or new) are more tolerant than what you would encounter in the Mid-West or in the Southern United States. I’m not excusing the “hate-crime.” That is obviously wrong. Being “offended” by nudity is not an adequate defense for either hate or violence. Never.

    I’m not saying that the naked bikers don’t have a right to express themselves as they wish. But, life is all about good-judgment. And, just because you have a right to ride around naked, does not necessarily mean that it is a good idea to do so.

  85. Two arrests have been made in relation to the assault on the bicyclists. Shortly after the investigation by our gang unit began, an arrest warrant alleging assault with a deadly weapon was obtained against Carlos Rojas, 20, Los Angeles. The warrant was issued based on vehicle and suspect information obtained at the scene, and from follow-up witnesses in the community. On June 22, 2011, at approximately 5:45 pm, detectives from a surveillance unit observed the car used during the crime, parked in the 1200 block of Sunset Blvd. They staked it out. Rojas and the female driver, Amanda Arellano, 20, Los Angeles, left in the car and they were detained.

    Rojas was identified and arrested on the warrant. Arellano was believed to have been at the scene of the crime, and is a person of interest. At the time she was stopped, Arellano was carrying a loaded pistol in her purse. Rojas was booked for the warrant, which carries a $75,000 bail, while Arellano was booked for having a loaded firearm in a public place, with bail set at $35,000. Two other male suspects are being sought, as the investigation continues.

    Wes
    (213) 484-3400
    25214@lapd.lacity.org

    • Just saw this. Thank you very much Wes for providing a report on the arrest of at least one suspect in that senseless attack. I was so angry that the attack happened on what was otherwise a peaceful fun event.

      That is also interesting that a 20 year old woman was carrying a concealed loaded firearm in her purse in the city.

  86. Alexis Montague

    Yeah! A two-fer! Nice job guys.

  87. it takes a big strong dude to get out his CAR and hit another dude on a BIKE….your on film dumb shit – its 2011!

  88. I hate to generalize but there just seems to be so much anger in LA!! I grew up there, left about 12 years ago, and even though I’ve had opportunities to move back, I just dont’ want to be in a city where people are so intolerant and quick to pick a fight. Lucky noone was more seriously hurt, but nevertheless, a despciable/cowardly portrayal of ignorance ruins another public event.

  89. Similar incident occurred to me at the NYC WNBR.
    My problem was that all the other bicyclists just continued past.

    I would have stopped and beat the basher.
    EVERYONE should have stopped and beat the bashers.

    Sometimes being peaceful isn’t enough.
    Bullies only respond to being bullied and the police would have let the incident go. The basher would learn his lesson and the world would know not to mess with peaceful protestors.

    Everyone has the right and should stand their ground to protect their selves, thoughts and actions.

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