The California Highway Patrol on Monday released a statement following a collision between a biker and a CHP officer in Rancho Cucamonga.
The incident occurred Sunday afternoon and was captured in a Facebook live video by Sonia Villalobos. The video has been viewed more than 1 million times and has sparked a heated debate online about whether the officer was at fault for hitting the motorcyclist, or if the motorcyclist was at fault for trying to evade the CHP.
In the video, a motorcycle and a patrol vehicle can be seen speeding through the intersection at Carnelian Street and 19th Street, where a group of other bikers are stopped at a red light. The motorcyclists were participating in a Fallen Brother Ride sponsored by the Elite Bikerz of the Inland Empire.
Once the two vehicles cross the intersection, the motorcyclist appears to veer toward the right side of the road. The CHP vehicle moves over as well, and the two collide — resulting in the motorcyclist falling off his bike.
The other bikers immediately rev their engines and speed toward the fallen rider, who is being handcuffed by the CHP officer.
“You pushed him! You pushed him down … and I have it all on camera,” a woman can be heard yelling in the video.
The video also shows dents on the officer’s car that may have been the result of the collision.
According to the CHP statement, released more than 24 hours after the collision, the motorcyclist involved was 26-year-old Raul Garcia Martinez of Los Angeles. He suffered “scuffs and bruises to his lower leg, left shoulder and lower back,” the statement said.
The CHP officer was not named.
According to the CHP, the chase began on the eastbound 210 Freeway, when the officer turned on his emergency lights and tried to stop Garcia Martinez after he used the right shoulder to pass another vehicle on the freeway.
The motorcyclist began to yield but then took off at high speed, eventually exiting the freeway at Archibald Avenue, according to the report.
The chase continued on surface streets until the collision.
“For unknown reasons, the left side of the Yamaha made contact with the right side of the patrol vehicle,” the report said.
Garcia Martinez was taken to a hospital and was then booked on suspicion of felony evading, the report said.
The CHP has assigned an investigator to look into what caused the collision between the patrol vehicle and the motorcyle.