Mount Washington Man Arrested in Cyclist Assault

The suspect, Louis Mraz, is a member of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department's official blog, Mount Washington resident Louis Mraz has been arrested on suspicion of running down a cyclist on Avenue 50 in late May.

As on Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch, Highland Park resident Winona Wacker was cycling along Avenue 50 near Buchanan Street when a man in a white convertible, later identified as Mraz, allegedly ran her down on purpose. 

Wacker provided her account of the incident in a. 

“He laid on his horn, then yelled back at me, ‘You wanna test your weight against mine?’” Wacker said. “[He] continued blowing his horn, hit the gas and then sped up to run me down.”

Wacker said a Good Samaritan stopped to attend to her by the side of the road, and then sped along to retrieve the motorist's license plate number.

In the LAPD'S blog entry, which was posted earlier on Friday, officers stated that an eyewitness account corroborated Wacker's story, despite an account from Mraz that he had made every possible effort to avoid hitting her and did not see her lying on the ground. 

He claimed he was not able to safely pass and began honking his horn.  He heard the cyclist tell him she had every right to be there and continued riding.  Mraz claimed that once he was finally able to pass, the cyclist struck the passenger side mirror with her hand.  As he drove away, he saw the cyclist still riding her bike.

According to the entry, LAPD received a warrant from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and arrested Mraz on July 6.

Mraz, a member of the Mount Washington Homeowner's Alliance, was released on bail after the arrest.

Police are still seeking more information about the incident.


David July 09, 2011 at 06:55 AM
David July 09, 2011 at 06:57 AM
Word to the wise: don't run people down in a car with vanity plates
Susan R July 09, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Word to the wise: If there is a car honking their horn and asking you to move to the side so they can pass, get out of the way and let the car pass. It is for your own safety.
Alberto July 09, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Word to both of you. Cyclists, be respectful of the larger cars - you know how you yourself can be behind the wheel of a car. Drivers, don't bully us or we'll stick you! (with arrest) What I want to know is whether there is damage to the car where her bike was allegedly struck?
Shawn Richardson July 09, 2011 at 03:37 PM
From previous comments on prior posts, Alberto, the answer is yes there was damage to the car from striking the bike.
Susan R July 09, 2011 at 03:59 PM
And, the damage to car was on the mirror? If that is true I don't think anyone intentionally mowed down the bicyclist.
David Fonseca (Editor) July 09, 2011 at 06:03 PM
According to the suspect, the damage was to the mirror. According to the victim and a witness, the damage was to the side panel of the vehicle.
Shawn Richardson July 09, 2011 at 10:57 PM
He sounds like a total a$$ regardless where the damage was. If there is a vehicle in front of you and you cannot safely pass that vehicle, you don't. It doesnt matter how fast that vehicle is traveling they have the right of way and you just have to deal with it. Bikes are vehicles too. I'm originally from Amish country and the idea that a person in a vehicle that can't travel as fast as a car doesn't have the same right to the road as the motorized person is ludicrous.
Rocky A July 09, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Is S. Rocha related or a friend of Mraz? Regardless of whether the cyclist did not get out of the way, a person is no match against a 2000 lb car. And because the damage was to the mirror proves that Mraz did not intentionally try to run over her??? That makes no sense.
Gma July 10, 2011 at 04:59 AM
guess what your not a car, you have the right to ride your bike on the street.When you see a car don't take it for granite they won't run you down. stay as close to the curb as you can because your NOT a car. And you bikers that think you can ride your bikes side by side and talk to each other should ride in the park because there is barely enough room for ONE BIKE.Stop and talk on the sidewalk. people who have bad perception and a lot of people in Highland Park think they can drive, probably don't even have a license let alone insurance. No one wears seat belts, kids aren't in car seats.When they get out of their cars it's like a circus with all the people who pop out of there.Where are the police to give these people tickets? Park in Food for Less! you cops can make your quota in half a day. I see people nearly get hit by cars daily with the drivers in this town. Old people who should have their licenses taken away because of what they nearly do. And people who just don't care or know the rules of the road. So all you bikers be careful driving in this town it might be your last drive.Cops should sit at Food for less and catch all the people who go thru that stupid crossing yellowing blinking light which half the people don't even know it's there because they don't push it.The cars don't stop anyway. a RED LIGHT is what we need, they probably think yellow means go faster! Single file bikers! for your and my safety. talk at home or drive a car if you want to talk to so badly
Gma July 10, 2011 at 05:05 AM
yeah your saving gas but you could be dead and what did you save after all? would you rather save a few cents or live to see another day? take your pick. car vs bike=car wins every time.
Susan R July 10, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Hitting someone on the side shows that the driver did not intentionally hit the bicyclist. He may have tried to go around her and hit her by accident. Either way of course the guy in the car is at fault for the accident UNLESS the bicyclist ran into his car, ran a red light or jumped in front of him, which I am sure did not happen. This is a case for the motorist auto insurance to handle. His insurance company will pay for the damage to the bike and any injury to the bicyclist. So, the bicyclist needs to put in a claim with the guy's auto insurance company. That will go against his DMV record with a 2 point accident since there are injuries involved. No injuries and it is only a one point accident. And, a SR-1 form may need to be filed by both parties at the DMV. Now guess my occupation.
Susan R July 10, 2011 at 04:04 PM
I have slowly followed bicyclist, even when I could have changed lanes, just to make sure they got to the end of San Fernando Road safely. And, it is danagerous for bicyclist and motorist to go so slow on that busy road. Bicyclist should use Cypress Ave which has a bike lane. San Fernando Road has no bike lane and is extremely danagerous for bicyclist. Bicyclist should only use Cypress Ave for their own safety.
Marino July 10, 2011 at 04:09 PM
It's not always practical to move to the right to let a car pass. Nor is it required by law. Most debris collects by the curb and you often find there broken glass, loose gravel, and gutter grills with openings wide enough to swallow a bike wheel. You don't notice these things from a car but as a cyclist you do.
Elijah H July 10, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Damage to the side of the car would be consistent with the motorist attempting to side-swipe the bicyclist and force her off the road. Seems within reason given this guy's apparent anger problem.
Gma July 10, 2011 at 09:26 PM
when I was a child I road my bide near the curb, I didn't care if there was rocks, glass or grills, I used my eyes when I would see a problem I would rather stop, wait for traffic to pass and then go onto the blacktop and pass the troubled area. You have to use your eyes. I notice men rather trip over an item on the floor then look down while walking, let alone riding a bike. So lets use some common sense, which I think a lot of people don't have any more. Just like driving a car, it's you against the other drivers. You don't know what the other person is doing so you have to keep watching ahead, behind and the people walking on the street. Walkers think they're cars and we can see them when they walk behind you when your backing up or walk in front of you in the middle of the street between cars.They put in cross walks for a reason.You have to drive defensively, be ready for anything. Not just look straight ahead in a dream world or looking at your passenger as you drive is THE WORST.
Susan R July 11, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Elijah, you might be right and maybe not. It is one person's word against the other. The insurance company will take the side of the bicyclist as long as the bicyclist did not break any laws. The best way to make the motorist pay is to put in a claim with his insurance company. Police should get that information out of him. If not, the bicyclist would sue the guy in small claims court and that would force him to give up his auto insurance info. But I would try to get the police to get his auto insurance information.
Shawn Richardson July 11, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Susan, but if you are going someplace on San Fernando....
Shawn Richardson July 11, 2011 at 06:28 PM
@ Susan - There is no way a person in a convertible did not realize he had hit a biker if it resulted in body damage to his car. Heck even if it was only the sideview mirror there would have been considerable noise. Leaving the scene of an accident is criminal.
Shawn Richardson July 11, 2011 at 06:33 PM
It's not just about saving money and you can wind up dead in a car as well. People need to start getting used to the fact that more and more people are choosing to use bikes as a mode of transportation. We live in paradise and you can get around on a bike almost every day of the year. I'm surprised it has taken this long for people to start riding for basic transportation. It wouldn't be so bad if people on both sides, cyclists and motorists, just obeyed all traffic laws. That is really all that needs to happen.
Gma July 11, 2011 at 09:14 PM
EVERYONE drive carefully and defensively..........good eye by the witness
Susan R July 12, 2011 at 03:42 PM
I didn't know this guy has some prior anger management issues.
Matt September 19, 2011 at 07:44 PM
The law is that a bicyclist is considered a moving vehicle and as such is to follow the laws of a car. THey are to ride as far to the right as is safe: sometimes the safest place to be is in the middle of the lane. A bicyclist needs at least 3 feet on either side- that's 6 feet. A car needs at least 8 feet. If the lane is anything less, the bicyclist belogns in the middle of the lane. It's such a sad day when a car is inconvenienced a full 3 seconds, to have to wait to pass, isn't it. A full 3 seconds. And if he tried this today he'd be breaking the anti-harrassment law (asuming this was in the L.A. jurisdiction).


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