Advertisement
Share

Murder trial set for suspected DUI driver charged with killing 12-year-old bicyclist near Costa Mesa park

Noel Bascon, 12, of Costa Mesa was killed following a Dec. 6, 2020, collision near the city's Tewinkle Park.
Noel Bascon, 12, of Costa Mesa was killed following a December 6, 2020, collision near the city’s Tewinkle Park.
(File Photo)

A murder trial is set to begin Thursday for a man suspected of fatally striking a 12-year-old boy — who’d been on a bicycle ride with his dad near Costa Mesa’s Tewinkle Park — in an alleged DUI collision in December 2020.

Richard David Lavalle, 59, of Long Beach, was arrested on Dec. 6 following the incident, which took place near the junction of Junipero and Arlington drives as Costa Mesa youth Noel Bascon and his father were riding bicycles shortly before 6 p.m. on a Sunday.

That’s when a rented moving truck being driven by Lavalle and heading eastbound on Arlington Drive allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the boy, who was in a crosswalk at the time of the collision, according to Costa Mesa police.

Richard Lavalle, 59, of Long Beach, was charged with murder for a December 6, 2020  fatal DUI collision in Costa Mesa
Richard Lavalle, 59, of Long Beach, was charged with murder for a December 6, 2020 fatal DUI collision in Costa Mesa
(Courtesy of the Orange County district attorney)

Police reported Noel was thrown several feet into the air from the impact of the collision. A passerby who witnessed the incident reportedly began administering CPR on the boy until first responders arrived on scene.

Officers tried to resuscitate the boy, using an automated external defibrillator until Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue medics arrived. Noel was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a CMPD release.

Lavalle was initially booked on suspicion of murder, driving under the influence of drugs and violating parole. Prosecutors reported he was previously convicted of driving under the influence in San Diego County in 2013.

Charged with murder by the Orange County district attorney’s office, Lavalle pleaded not guilty on Dec. 9, 2021, more than a year after the incident. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life if convicted.

An online prison inmate locator maintained by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department indicates Lavalle is currently being held in the county’s Theo Lacy Facility. By the time he appears in court Monday, he will have served 418 days in custody.

Tire tracks at the scene where Noel Bascon, 12, was killed on December 6, 2020 while riding his bike at Teweinkle Park.
Tire tracks seen near a crosswalk in December 2020, days after Noel Bascon, 12, was killed while riding his bike near Costa Mesa’s Tewinkle Park.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.


Advertisement