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Breaking News: Louis Mraz Found Guilty in Cyclist Road Rage Incident

Mount Washington resident Louis Mraz was found guilty on Monday of assault with a deadly weapon for side-swiping a cyclist on Avenue 50 in May.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Monday convicted Mount Washington man Louis Mraz on one count of assault with a deadly weapon in relation to an incident in May in which he sideswiped a cyclist near the corner of Avenue 50 and Buchanan Street.

The jury also acquitted Mraz of one count of hit and run.

Update: Mraz was also convicted of violating section 240 of the California Penal Code, which is defined as "an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."

Winona Wacker, the cyclist who was injured in the Mraz incident, said she still felt overwhelmed by the proceedings of the trial.

"I'm still letting it all settle in," Wacker said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Mraz was driving behind Wacker on Avenue 50 "in his 2001 Volvo convertible with his top down and began honking his horn and yelling for Wacker to move out of his way."

According to the report, Mraz then "drove violently into the left side of Wacker’s bike causing her to fall and tumble to the pavement.  Mraz then left the area, leaving Wacker with numerous cuts and abrasions."

Mraz was remanded into custody by the Los Angeles Superior Court, where he will await a sentencing date schedule for March 26.

According to the California Penal Code "any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment."

Mraz, who sits on the board of directors of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance, was previously arrested for a road rage incident in 1999.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Mraz was first sentenced to 45 days community service on a Caltrans crews for punching a 72-year-old man in the face following a traffic incident.

The full Times article can be found here.

The article further states that Mraz, who was 51 years old at the time, was placed on three years summary probation and ordered to publicly apologize to the victim in the Mount Washington Newsletter by Judge Ramona G. See.

Will Owen March 20, 2012 at 04:35 AM
If I drive in such a way as to obstruct traffic, I may be adjudged in violation of the law. That is something I've known since I started occupying the public roads over 60 years ago. It cannot matter whether I obstruct traffic in a car, a horse-drawn vehicle, or on a bicycle. So has someone gone and changed the rules? Nobody told me about it. In the world I grew up in, weaving around on the public road in such a way as to cause an obstruction was not only illegal, it was (more disgracefully) bad manners. Did Mr. Mraz take exception to this? I should hope so. Did he yell at the offender? Probably. Did she insist that she had some "right" to be in the way? Almost certainly, since out area's two-wheeler contingent have become the suffused with a sense of entitlement that leaves the Prius owners gasping for breath. Not only do these Masters of the Universe claim all the rights of a street vehicle, they claim the right to ride on sidewalks, run stop signs, ignore one-way signs and, for all I know, red lights as well. I rode a bicycle from age 8 until well into my fifties. I was taught at the outset to (first) mind my manners, (second) watch out for traffic, and (third) don't annoy the drivers. It offends me very deeply that these commonsense rules seem to have come to be ignored.
krd March 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I live in the area. I can agree that often cyclists violate traffic laws in and around HLP, but NO WAY could anyone justify vigilante behavior of charging a cyclist with your big-@$$ volvo because you feel he/she is breaking the law. Come on! What Mraz did was not ok and when you have a prior conviction of road rage, it all looks pretty bad. He should have been smart and learned his lesson the first time. He didn't, so in my opinion this man simply should not be driving. He needs anger management classes.
Susan R March 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Krd is right. And, since this accident includes bodily injury it is a 2 point accident. That makes the guy's auto insurance rates double or triple. And, his auto insuance company may even drop him. So, I hope the bicyclist put in a claim with drivers auto insurance company to pay him for the damage to his bike and for his injury. And, make sure to fill out the SR1 Form with the DMV.
Susan R March 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.pdf Fill out the SR1 Form with the DMV for an accident that has bodily injury or any accident with property damage over $1,000.
Carl Showalter March 20, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Luckily for me, I was taught at the outset to (first) not slam my car into annoying cyclists, jaywalkers, and things in general that piss me off, and (second) choose my friends wisely. And I haven't even lived 30 years!

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