Jerk Driver Who Ran Cyclists Off Glendale Road Charged With Assault, Lying To Police
A driver caught on video using his car to assault a pair of cyclists in Glendale has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. County prosecutors have also charged the driver, identified as Dennis Reed of Toluca Lake, with filing a false police report regarding the incident, according to the Glendale Police Department.
Take a second to think all the way back to January, when we first posted about an encounter between some cyclists and an aggressive driver on Chevy Chase Road, close to the 2 Freeway. Recall how, after passing dangerously close to the cyclists, Reed pulled his shiny black Audi in front of the cyclists and slammed on his brakes.
Now, recall what the Reed did the next day. Do you remember how Reed, went on TV and defended his actions to NBC 4? Do you recollect how he claimed how one of the cyclists hit his car as he rode by? Do remember how Reed described, on camera, how "my attention was just all on this guy who is assaulting me. I was just trying to get away from him."
The video originally surfaced on CiclaValley, and immediately sparked a wave of controversy in commenting spaces across the Internet. The cyclists in the video filed a police report against the driver, and the driver did the same against the cyclists.
"Since the case was reported, we've been investigating it very thoroughly," said Tahnee Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for the Glendale Police Department, said to LAist. "It has attracted a lot of attention."
In his police report, as well as his interview with NBC4, Reed alleged one of the cyclists had previously punched his car. Given county prosecutors are charging him with filing a false police report, this doesn't seem to be the case.
Don Ward, the de-facto organizer-in-chief of L.A.'s cycling advocacy network, finds the news ultimately reassuring. He laid out his thoughts exclusively to LAist:
Traffic violence and assault are two of the most serious barriers to safe cycling on our city streets. While these crimes are perpetrated by a small percentage of drivers the impact can not be overstated. I applaud the Glendale police and district attorney for moving to protect the most vulnerable users of the road who have every right to be taking the lane safely and lawfully as these two cyclists were.
Reed's arraignment will happen on May 11th, setting in motion the processes for his criminal trial. All of this stems from his choice to use his car as a weapon. While neither of the cyclists in the video were injured, Reed's car could very easily have knocked over one of the riders and forced him into a parked car, or caused the rider with the camera to crash into the back of Reed's own car.
And all of this was over absolutely nothing. According to Ward, who has seen the full length video recording, the riders did nothing whatsoever to provoke Reed. The riders even stopped at a stop sign a few minutes before their unfortunate encounter with Reed.
Ward offers this:
I hope this case will serve as an example to all drivers that the stakes are high and it is really not worth risking other people's lives for the sake of saving a few seconds on the way, ultimately, to that next red light. We are all humans traveling from one place to another. Just because you are in a car does not mean your trip is worth any more or less than those trips taken by foot or by bike.