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Red light jumping cyclist arrested after police helicopter chase

California Highway Patrol's air operations found the suspect hiding on a roof nearby...

Police in California called in helicopter backup to find a cyclist who jumped a red light. After a short chase on foot, officers lost sight of the suspect before California Highway Patrol's air operations department spotted him hiding on a roof.

The department's official Facebook page said the the officers had tried to apprehend the cyclist early on Tuesday morning after he allegedly jumped a red light at a junction in Redwood City, in Northern California's Bay Area.

But when the rider failed to stop, abandoning the bicycle and fleeing on foot, the Redwood City Police Department and San Mateo County Sheriff's Office were called in to establish a perimeter around the surrounding streets.

The helicopter unit soon found the suspect hiding on a roof. Redwood City Fire Department helped return the man to the police who arrested him for evading a police officer and resisting arrest.

Art Montiel, a spokesperson for CHP Redwood City said officers found methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia during the arrest and noted the suspect had outstanding felony and misdemeanour warrants.

"Bicyclists are supposed to be like any other vehicle," Montiel said. "They are required to follow the rules of the road." He explained while his officers "may not typically stop" cyclists during the day, "when you see [cyclists] doing something at night, there might be something going on."

The CHP's social media post thanked all four departments involved in the chase for their quick response and assistance to the incident which happened around 3am on Tuesday morning.

In May, police at a university in Dallas tasered a cyclist after the rider jumped a red light. The police department, described colloquially as "Campus Cowboys", defended its officer's actions, saying the 34-year-old man was tasered for resisting arrest after taking them on a five-minute "tour of the surrounding area".

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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10 comments

Avatar
FrankH | 2 years ago
9 likes

I think the moral of the story is: If you're already breaking the law, don't be seen breaking another law.

(Well, it's kept me out of prison.)  4

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Global Nomad replied to FrankH | 2 years ago
2 likes

and part two - if you hear a helicopter dont hide on a roof

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IanMSpencer | 2 years ago
4 likes

Proportionate response not part of their vocabulary.

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
17 likes

One might suggest that the headline would better read "Red Light jumping drug dealer on a bike tracked down by helicopter"

There are times when the form of transport isn't the point of the story.

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Sriracha replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
9 likes

Your confusing this story with ethical journalism.

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hawkinspeter replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes

But the drug aspect was only discovered after they'd caught him, so surely that's incidental? As they were chasing him for a specific cycling traffic offense, I'd say that his mode of transport was entirely relevant.

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Grahamd replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
7 likes

The quote indicates they may have anticipated more and hence the reason for such a police effort.

"Bicyclists are supposed to be like any other vehicle," Montiel said. "They are required to follow the rules of the road." He explained while his officers "may not typically stop" cyclists during the day, "when you see [cyclists] doing something at night, there might be something going on."

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Grahamd | 2 years ago
3 likes

I'm sure they did anticipate something more nefarious than cycling through a red, but the cycling is still relevant to the story.

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Secret_squirrel replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

Relevant yes.  Point of no.  I'm sure he would have been stopped regardless of vehicle if only "on suspicion" remember this is the land of "blowing people away" for less....

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Boopop replied to Grahamd | 2 years ago
1 like
Grahamd wrote:

The quote indicates they may have anticipated more and hence the reason for such a police effort.

"Bicyclists are supposed to be like any other vehicle," Montiel said. "They are required to follow the rules of the road." He explained while his officers "may not typically stop" cyclists during the day, "when you see [cyclists] doing something at night, there might be something going on."

Shows how engrained car dependency is in California that a police officer assumes someone cycling at night is up to no good.

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