LA Times – Veronica Rocha
An Orange County cyclist who used his cellphone to document getting struck by a Gatorade bottle after a dispute with the passenger in a passing truck could also face charges in the incident, officials said.
Orange County sheriff’s investigators have reviewed Bryan Larsen’s video (warning: cyclist utters a profanity) and recommended charges be filed against him and the truck passenger, the department’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
The passenger may face assault and battery charges, while Larsen could be looking at being charged with “words in public likely to illicit a violent reaction,” Hallock said.
He declined to identify the passenger because she has not been arrested or charged.
The video shows Larsen riding his bicycle May 31 on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point when he is suddenly struck by a bottle of Gatorade thrown from the passenger side of a truck. He later claims the passenger also threw water bottles at him.
Larsen yells a profanity toward the truck, saying, “That’s you on video. See you later,” as the truck drives by him. The female passenger points at Larsen and appears to exchange words with him before the truck speeds away.
Larson later posted the video, urging the Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol “to do something about what happened today. This is not OK,” according to his Twitter account.
Soon enough, the video had received roughly 16,500 views on YouTube.
“I was definitely quite scared,” Larsen said on his YouTube page.
He later told KCAL 9 that he was riding with a friend when the truck tried to run him off the road, so he pulled out his cellphone and filmed the exchange.
The video apparently bothered some cycling safety advocacy groups, who Hallock said believed the Sheriff’s Department was not investigating the incident.
Sheriff’s detectives presented their case to the Orange County district attorney, but it was rejected June 20, Hallock said. They continued investigating the case, however, and are now recommending the latest set of proposed charges, he added.