Alleged Angeles Crest Road Rage Incident Involves Cyclists

A man allegedly swerved toward cyclists and yelled at them on the Angeles Crest Highway.

Fire, death and now, road rage?

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon while driving on the Angeles Crest Highway. The weapon: his car.

At 9:45 a.m. June 18 while deputies were responding to a separate call, they were flagged down by a group of cyclists riding along the Angeles Crest Highway. The cyclists alleged that a driver in a Nissan Xterra had driven next to them while they were cycling, slowed down and cursed at them, according to a report filed with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Crescenta Valley Station. They said that the driver also swerved toward them while they were riding on the shoulder of the road.

Then, deputies encountered two more cyclists who alleged that a Nissan Xterra swerved toward them, and that an angry driver was behind the wheel. The cyclists told police that they thought the driver wanted to hit them with his car, according to the report.

A witness alleged that he had seen the same driver move his car dangerously close to cyclists while yelling at them.

The suspicious driver was Earl Clyde Cox, a 48-year-old La Crescenta resident. Deputies found his car parked near the entrance to the Charlton Picnic Area off the Angeles Crest.

When deputies questioned Cox, he said that he was driving to work when he approached a pair of cyclists who he believed were in his lane and not being considerate of drivers. Cox said that he drove close to the right shoulder and yelled at them, and then encountered two more cyclists and attempted to confront them about their cycling manners, according to the report.

Cox told deputies he stopped his car directly in front of the cyclists.

According to the report, deputies said that Cox displayed “road rage” and had complete disregard for the safety of the cyclists. The deputies said that Cox showed no remorse for his actions.

Police said based on the dangers of the Angeles Crest Highway - three motorcyclists have died in the last few weeks - and the potential for Cox’s actions to have caused a traffic hazard, they arrested him. Cox was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Additional reporting for this article was provided by Lynda Rivers.

Ross S. Heckmann June 28, 2011 at 09:24 PM
One gets the impression from this article that there was sufficient evidence to arrest Mr. Cox. According to the article, Cox himself admits that he drove close to the shoulder and yelled at cyclists, and that he stopped his car "directly in front of" the cyclists. It is reasonable to infer that the latter was done in order to force the cyclists to stop. It also risked a collision in which they might have been hurt, perhaps seriously--all so that Mr. Cox could deliver a lecture to the cyclists about their manners. There seems to have been insufficient advance time and opportunity for the cyclists to get together to fabricate an agreed-upon story, so that imparts further credibility to their account. It is true that the majority of cyclists that I encounter drive in complete disregard of the rules of the road, and, by driving on the sidewalk, are ready, willing and able to endanger pedestrians as well. But there is no evidence that this happened in this case, and even if it did, that is absolutely no excuse for using the car in which one is driving as a means of terrorizing cyclists with the threat of an imminent collision. It appears that the arrest of Mr. Cox was warranted. Proven terrorism of cyclists should be prosecuted. But the lawlessness displayed by many cyclists should also be prosecuted, particularly when they endanger pedestrians by driving on the sidewalk.


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