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Police say there was no crime in Spring Street bike accident

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at 04:50PM
Jennifer Beatty via Twitter

Susanna Schick recovering in hospital bed.

A Spring Street cycling incident involving a woman who was seriously injured while riding Downtown last Friday, may not be as clear-cut as previously reported on the web.

Although multiple outlets have alleged that the collision was a hit-and-run, the Los Angeles Police Department says they are not filing it as such.

"There's a great deal of discrepancy," Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department said. "There is no crime here. She fell down on her bicycle."

Susanna Schick, an experienced cyclist, was riding down Spring Street at around 11:30 p.m. Friday when a car pulled out of a garage, swung wide and swerved into the bike lane. That part of the event is not in dispute.

According to Schick's own statement, she doesn't think the car hit her, Vernon said. But when both parties arrived at the next red light, Schick pedaled up to the car, hit the side view mirror and began yelling at the people inside, who reacted by rolling up their windows, according to the report.

Vernon says that two police officers witnessed the incident and reported seeing Schick continue on her bicycle for another block or two until the car turned right and she wobbled and fell over, tumbling off the bike. The two police also say that there was no collision with a car.

It was these officers who were the ones to call the ambulance, Vernon explained. They also returned Schick's bike to her house.

According to the ChipIn site and many other news organizations, however, Schick did not merely fall off her bike but was rammed from behind by the midsize car after she had been harassed by the passengers in the vehicle.

Police say that no witnesses have come forward in relation to the incident. Schick was unavailable for comment.

Jennifer Beatty, Schick's friend said that it was a "physical improbability" that Schick's bike could become so damaged without a collision. Beatty described the damage to the rear wheel as being a "bike taco" bent half an inch -- and further explained that Spring Street is mostly smooth with no drains or other obstacles that would have caused Schick's bike to get the wobbles.

Beatty also said that the police department didn't take Schick's report for almost three days after the injured cyclist had suffered a concussion and had been "in and out of it."

Schick's injuries are not disputed; she was wearing a helmet but still suffered a concussion.

In addition to breaking her collarbone, Schick, 42, also broke her pelvis and six ribs and is still recovering at USC County Hospital.

Schick has received an outpouring of support from friends and the bicycling community, via Twitter and the ChipIn fund organized by BikeLA.

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