SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One rider from the mass group of cyclists who were accused of being unruly and fighting during last weekend's beach ride is defending the group’s actions.
Cyclist Rolando Vasquez, of Los Angeles, told 10News on Tuesday that the viral video of the fight in Pacific Beach doesn't tell the whole story.
"When you have that many riders, it's going to be unruly. I wouldn't say rowdy," said Vasquez.
He said that he and bike riders from around the state came to San Diego on Sunday for a mass ride through the beach communities, which was sponsored by the group “Keep it Rolling." He said that accusations that the few hundred riders were out-of-hand are inflated.
"We’re doing the whole ‘pop a wheelie’ thing and we're riding around and having a good time but we're not rowdy. We're not looking for trouble," he added. He said that he's one of the cyclists in the video of the fight shot by Pacific Beach resident Steve Paen.
Paen said the woman in the video who appears to be getting attacked was a motorist who got out of her car to scold the cyclists for disregarding traffic signals.
On Monday, Paen told 10News, "The boy starts to kick on her and picks on her and it just becomes this mob mentality of bikers on this one woman who was going to yell at this kid for basically running a red light."
Vasquez claims the video was the opposite.
"No. It was the total opposite. It was an angry passenger that got out of her seat because we were holding up traffic," Vasquez said.
Vasquez said the woman threw a bottle at the group and then chased after them and attacked a little girl, not a little boy, who knocked the woman to the ground in an act of self-defense.
"[The woman] came out and beat up a little girl and I feel like she got what she deserved and a lot of people would probably feel the same way," Vasquez said.
That woman's boyfriend told 10News that it all started when a cyclist spit into the car that the woman was in. He adds that shortly after she got out, she was attacked and is now left with facial injuries.
However, Vasquez said that woman is not to be trusted.
"The last thing we want is the reputation of being bullies or hooligans that ride bikes all through the city because that's totally not us. We're grownups for the most part," says Vasquez.
The woman’s boyfriend said that San Diego Police officers discouraged her from making a report. An SDPD spokesperson disputes that argument and says that neither party wanted to report the incident.