Officer Hit With Screwdriver During ‘Critical Mass’ Ride

POSTED: 1:19 pm PDT September 1, 2012


Incident Occurred Near Intersection Of Sixth Avenue, Market Street

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego police officer was injured Friday evening after he was hit in the head with a screwdriver in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

The incident occurred near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Market Street during the monthly “Critical Mass” bicycle ride through the city.

Photographer Scott Allen said he was in the crowd when the incident occurred. He said a screwdriver came flying down – apparently from a nearby apartment balcony – and hit the officer in the head. San Diego police told 10News the screwdriver was sharpened to be like a knife.

The officer was not seriously injured. He was taken to a hospital to be treated and received some stitches for his injury.

“Critical Mass” occurs during the last Friday of every month to raise awareness about bicycle safety in San Diego.

There have been problems recently. On a ride in early July, a woman in her 50s cracked her chin after being pushed to the ground during a ride on the Mission Beach Boardwalk. After that, the woman’s husband got into a fight with a bicyclist.

However, Friday’s incident appears to have happened coincidentally as the riders were making their way through the Gaslamp area.

SDPD officer injured during Critical Mass bike ride

Posted: Sep 01, 2012 1:30 PM CDT


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego police officer hit in the head with a screwdriver that a Critical Mass bicycle rider allegedly threw was recovering Saturday.

It was unclear if any of the riders were arrested near Sixth Ave. and Market St. downtown, where the crime occurred about 9:10 p.m. Friday.

The officer was taken to a hospital with a bleeding head wound, Officer David Stafford told the U-T San Diego.

The last-Friday-of-the-month ride, held in about 300 cities worldwide, is an outgrowth of the Critical Mass movement started in San Francisco in 1992. The name of the ride refers to the number of riders needed to dominate streets.

In Los Angeles Friday night, a young man lost his life in a crash on UCLA’s campus during a Critical Mass ride.

In Southern California, the riders can sometime be rowdy. In other cases, the riders don’t follow the rules of the road. For instance, “corking” is when a handful of the leaders block an intersection to enable the larger pack of rider to pass through.

Run-ins with police during Critical Mass rides are not uncommon, since some riders apparently embrace the night time tours as a form of protest.

Officer Injured by Flying Screwdriver During Critical Mass Bike Ride

By Monica Garske
Saturday, Sep 1, 2012

A screwdriver was thrown at an officer’s head in downtown San Diego Friday night

Screw Driver Thrown At Police Officer

An SDPD officer was injured Friday night after a screwdriver was thrown at his head, authorities confirmed.

The incident happened around 9 p.m. in downtown San Diego near 6th Avenue and Market Street.

An unknown suspect threw a large, sharpened screwdriver at an officer who was exiting a police van, Lt. Paul Rorrison said. The officer sustained a large laceration to his ear and was transported to the hospital.

At the time of the injury, bicyclists from the monthly Critical Mass biking event were rolling through the area, police said.

Lt. Rorrison said a group of Critical Mass bicyclists were initially riding southbound on 4th Avenue when one rider kicked a parked vehicle on the road. A security guard saw the vandalism and chased the group down to 6th Avenue.

The group of riders got into a physical fight with the security guard and police responded to the scene.

As a responding officer arrived, he was hit in the head by screwdriver thrown by an unknown suspect.

Lt. Rorrison said the person who threw the screwdriver has not been identified or taken into custody. If arrested, that suspect could face felony assault chargers for injuring the officer.

The suspect who kicked the car was detained by police, Lt. Rorrison said.

According to Lt. Rorrison, police have amped up their presence at the monthly Critical Mass bike rides lately. He called this an “isolated incident.”

As of Saturday morning, the injured officer had been treated and released from the hospital, authorities confirmed.

The security guard involved in the scuffle with the bicyclist spoke with NBC 7 on Saturday and said the bicyclist had allegedly kicked his car, which is why he chased him down.

The security guard — who’s a bouncer in downtown San Diego — said the bicyclist had allegedly dented his fender and cracked a headlight on his car.

When he tried to place the bicyclist under citizen’s arrest, a fight ensued that included a group of cyclists allegedly throwing items such as jugs of water, a bike pump, a hammer and the screwdriver that hit the officer, the guard said.

Woman Injured In Altercation With ‘Critical Mass’ Bicyclists

San Diego Police Investigating June 29 Incident At Mission Beach Boardwalk

POSTED: 4:59 pm PDT July 4, 2012


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department is investigating an altercation involving a local couple and several bicyclists participating in a “Critical Mass” event.

Police told 10News the incident happened as about 500 bike riders paraded onto the Mission Beach boardwalk last Friday.

Critical Mass is a monthly protest where hundreds — sometimes more than 1,000 — bicyclists take to San Diego streets and highways to raise awareness for bicycle safety and rights.

However, police said sometimes that message is lost when the antics evolve into the absurd. SDPD Assistant Chief Boyd Long told 10News a woman was knocked down and cracked her chin when she was bumped by one cyclist. Her husband defended her honor by getting into a scuffle with another cyclist.

No one was arrested in the incident, but police are investigating.

“We encourage them to follow the law. We encourage them to act responsible. From what I understand on Friday night, they weren’t acting responsible,” said Long.

Critical Mass starts the last Friday of every month from the fountain in Balboa Park.

“Kind of showing people to share the road and trying to show that bicyclists are part of the traffic, too, so just be careful,” said Jason Livecchi, who has participated in the event before.

Since Critical Mass arrived in the 1990s, some have said the antics have gone too far. YouTube videos show hundreds of participants storming into the Horton Plaza parking garage and Target. Those are hardly places where bicyclist rights are in question.

The assault on the couple, who are in their 50s, along the boardwalk is just the latest dust-up.

“That’s really rare. Usually everyone’s really respectful, very nice,” said Livecchi.

“If they need to send a message, I don’t think beating up an old couple is the right way to do it,” said Monica Chavez, who was walking the boardwalk Wednesday.

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