Suspect arrested in hit-and-run that killed bicyclist

Wave Wire Services

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — A man is in custody in connection with the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist who was dragged by a van for nearly a mile Oct. 24.

Felipe Avalos, 66, was arrested in Compton and booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was being held on $50,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The bicyclist was hit by the vehicle at about 9 a.m. as he was crossing near 115th Street and the vehicle was traveling southbound on Broadway. The bicyclist became lodged onto the undercarriage of the van, which police say then continued southbound, turning down several city streets for approximately one mile until the victim became dislodged at Broadway and El Segundo Boulevard.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was being withheld, pending notification of his relatives.

“How do you not know you have something under your car?” one witness told KTLA5 at the scene.

The vehicle that hit the bicyclist, described as an older-model white and blue Chevrolet van, fled the scene, and police began looking for the motorist, described only as a man with long silver or salt-and-pepper hair.

There were some initial reports that the victim might have been intentionally struck, but police could not confirm that.

“South Traffic Division detectives located surveillance video that captured the collision and images of the suspect’s vehicle, later identified as an older model Chevy Astro van,” police said in a statement. 

“While interviewing witnesses, detectives obtained a possible license plate of the suspect’s vehicle,” police said. “Detectives conducted a series of follow-ups and located the suspect’s van parked in the driveway of a residence in the city of Compton.

“While monitoring the suspect’s van, an older male Hispanic matching the description of the suspect, exited the residence and entered the van,” police said. “South Traffic Division detectives took the suspect into custody without incident.”

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call detectives at the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500, or the 24-hour tip line 877-527-3247. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or use the website