PALMDALE – Two men who allegedly terrorized a caravan of older bicyclists out for a Sunday morning ride were charged with several felony counts Tuesday, authorities said.
Collin Kosche, 19, of Lancaster was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more and causing injury, and leaving the scene of an accident, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Andrew Aguirre, 20, of Santa Clarita was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
The charges stem from an incident that happened around 9 a.m. Sunday on Elizabeth Lake Road, just west of Bouqet Canyon Road, according to one of the victims.
“There was a group of bicyclists on a leisure ride out in the Lake Hughes area,” said Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Lt. Cory Kennedy. “The two suspects, who had been out drinking most of the night, came driving upon this caravan of bicyclists and decided that it would be fun to see if [they] could actually strike one of the bike riders and see what happens.”
Kosche drove a black 2009 Ford Focus alongside the riders, while Aguirre reached out and smacked the last bike rider across the lower back, Kennedy said.
The bicyclist was able to maintain his balance, but then the car swerved and clipped another 55-year-old bicyclist in the group, causing the man to go down, Kennedy said.
A third bicyclist was then struck with the rearview mirror of the car. The 55-year-old bicyclist kept his balance, but the mirror hit Aguirre across the head and injured him, Kennedy said.
Kosche and Aguirre then fled the scene. Deputies fanned out in the Lake Hughes area and caught up to the two suspects a short time later, Kennedy said.
The car was found at a home in 42800 Block of Whetstone Drive in Lake Elizabeth, Kennedy said. It was apparently registered to a family member of Kosche.
Kosche and Aguirre were arrested around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. When interviewed, both suspects copped to harassing the bike riders, Kennedy said.
“They basically, frankly, said ‘yeah, we wanted to see if we could hit these guys,’” Kennedy said.
The suspects estimated their car was traveling about 40 to 50 miles an hour when it pulled alongside the bicyclists, who were going about 20 miles an hour, Kennedy said. Kosche was nonchalant when confronted about what might have happened if his vehicle had hit the bicyclists full-on, Kennedy said.
“He said, ‘yeah, they would be pretty f’d up,’ and then he just laughed about it. I guess he thought that it was funny,” Kennedy said.
The bicyclist, who was smacked in the back, sustained a large bruise “from hip to hip” across his lower back and had hand and arm prints across his skin, Kennedy said. The 55-year-old bicyclist, who was clipped by the car and fell to the ground, sustained large abrasions from the asphalt and was taken to the hospital for treatment. And the 55-year-old bicyclist who was struck by the rear view mirror complained of pain to his tailbone and sustained a laceration on his ankle, Kennedy said. All seven bicyclists in the group were from Lancaster.
“I have never seen this callous, this just basically cruel type of an incident…” Kennedy said. “We see bikes go down but it’s always an accident, but this was just intentional.”
Kosche remains jailed on $100,000 bail. Aguirre was released Sunday night after making his $30,000 bail. Both men are due in court on April 23.
Editor’s Note: A few details of this story were changed based on information from one of the victims. Thank you, Kevin Walsh, for providing us with these details. According to Walsh, five cyclists were assaulted and two of them crashed as a result.