SLO police seeking videos of incident between motorcyclist and protesters

September 4, 2020


San Luis Obispo police officers are asking the public to help in their investigation of an incident between protesters and a motorcyclist on Sept. 2. Both sides blame the other, while evidence of the incident is limited.

At approximately 3:37 pm, protesters were in the intersection of Osos and Higuera streets when it appears, based on a short video, that the motorcyclist turned left into a lane where several protesters were standing. The motorcycle drives into the protesters, who were uninjured.

The motorcyclist then drove to the police station to file a report that the protesters had almost knocked him off his motorcycle. The protester later filed a report of assault with a deadly weapon.

A small portion of a video tape, that was provided to the Tribune, was viewed by police. Investigators have spoken with protesters and the motorcyclist, who appear to have differing accounts of the altercation.

In the Tribune article, a reporter appears to rely on demonstrators’ accounts of the incident: Two protesters were crossing the road when the motorcyclist drove into them even though multiple empty lanes were available. In addition, the reporter writes that officers viewed multiple tapes of the incident.

The Tribune video does not show the other vehicle lane on Hiquera Street (which there is only one), or evidence the protesters were crossing the street at the time of the incident.

The motorcyclist retired seven years ago from a career in the U.S. Army, according to a family member who asked not to be identified because of fear of retaliation. As a combat soldier, he was sent to Iraq multiple times.

In contrast with the demonstrators, his family contends the protesters were blocking traffic as they verbally assaulted drivers, that there were protesters blocking the other lane, and that the motorcyclist was attempting to drive away because the protesters intimidated him.

Also rebutting the Tribune article, a SLO Police Department’s request for information notes that they had been provided only one video of the incident, even though there were multiple people recording at the time.

“Through the Police Departments’ investigation, there have been numerous witnesses interviewed and one video recording of the incident was provided,” according to police. “Upon review of this recording, numerous people are seen recording the event as it unfolded. If you have video of the incident or were an eyewitness please contact Detective Stradley at 805-594-8068 or video can be emailed to”

For more than a month, protesters have demanded charges be dropped against BLM organizer Tianna Arata, 20, and protester Elias Bautista, 22. Both were arrested after a group of protesters blocked Highway 101 for almost an hour.

While several witnesses claim protesters were chasing cars, hitting cars with objects and in one incident breaking a car window, the protester blame the drivers, who they say pulled into them.

Protesters have vowed the community will get no peace unless charges are dropped against Arata and Bautista.

Investigators viewed multiple videos of the July 21 protest, before filing 13 misdemeanor charges against Arata and one felony and two misdemeanor charges against Bautista.

Since the July 21 arrest, demonstrators have repeatedly order media not to record their protests. At a rally on Thursday, a group of BLM protesters battered reporter Josh Friedman as he attempted to live stream a protest.

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Mama always taught me not to play in the street.

The protestors own video shows the motorcycle trying to stop.l If he was intentionally trying to hit them, he would not have tried to stop and put his foot on the ground.

Pretty sure the big red hand means don’t cross the street.

Pretty sure your DMV handbook says pedestrian has right of way—no matter what the hand may say. With your logic it is ok to buzz the elderly if they don’t cross quick enough.

The dude was wrong—just admit it. Defending it encourages more spearing attempts.

pe•des•tri•an pə-dĕs′trē-ən►


A person traveling on foot; a walker.

Funny, doesn’t mention standing in the street at all….

Try Crosswalks

“So as long as a pedestrian is crossing a marked crosswalk or crossing at an intersection that may or may not have a marked crosswalk, they have right-of-way.”

““the provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway. ”This means that if a pedestrian does cross a street illegally and a driver has enough time and notice to slow down or stop, they must do so.”

ActaNonVerba Read this: Please address the Policies, events and arguments, not the person. Constructive debate is good; mockery, taunting, and name calling is not.

Most normal people can tell the different between an elderly pedestrian and obnoxious idiots standing in the middle of the street trying to slow or block traffic.

Thanks for proving my point Fleet. Intent is the word you would use. According to you he could tell the difference.

Thanks for posting, Fleet. I believe it is a FLASHING red hand, which means “Hurry up and get across.” I’m sure you’ve been caught by one of those babies, too. The light on the post is the central, yellow (or whitish) light, I’m sure you will agree upon looking at the video. Best wishes