A lucrative scam has come to downtown Santa Monica: car versus bicycle, staged accidents
I was pulling into an empty space between two other parked cars on Broadway in downtown Santa Monica last week. Suddenly a guy on a bike hit the passenger side mirror. There is no bike lane on Broadway at this point.
He fell down, a white male with a beard age about 40, wearing knee pads and a crash helmet. He started swearing a limping. He ordered me not to leave and said "This is the second time today!" even though I had never seen him before.
He began to pound his bike helmet on the windows of my Chevy Cruze. "Do not leave!" he said. "This is going to cost you a thousand dollars!" I rolled down the window and tried to talk to him, but he began shouting again. A few curious people stopped to watch. The third time he started pounding on my windows, I threw my business card at him and drove off. I was afraid he would damage my vehicle.
Later, a friend told me "don't you realize this is the well known car versus bicycle, staged accident scam?" and explained to me that the bicyclist wanted me to offer him money.
I don't know whether or not he was homeless; but any way you cut it, a lucrative scam has come to downtown Santa Monica.