Teenage Cyclist Unjustly Arrested

On this morning’s group ride, something unusual happened.  My son and another teenage rider, Javier Lopez, were pulled over by a Seminole County Sheriff, and Javier Lopez was arrested for “resisting arrest”.   The teens had been off the front of the group in a breakaway for approx. the last 20 mins and were holding a 25 sec gap.  When they approached the left hand turn that would put them onto Florida Ave, my son stopped and Javier slowed and proceeded to roll through.  They then proceeded to kick back up to speed as they were trying to maintain their breakaway gap.  This is when the Sheriff, who was on the other side of the turn, took off in pursuit to pull them over.  The rest of the group came to a stop then we all proceeded to continue chasing them.  Approximately 25 sec later we came up on the teens on the side of the road, Javier already in handcuffs and my son asking why his friend was being arrested. The sheriff said  “why didn’t he stop? I told him to stop.”  My son replied, “we did stop as soon as we realized that you were trying to pull us over.”  The sheriff insisted that he had yelled at them at the stop sign and that Javier was, in essence, “fleeing the sight of the traffic violation.” Although the group of cyclist tried to explain the situation, the sheriff said, “Today’s not the day for a road side jury.”

They took Javier away, arrested him, and he is currently being detained in a jail cell. His bail is set at $8500 and he will probably spend the night in jail unless his father, who is also a cyclist and was there on the ride, finds a bail bondsmen today.

I understand enforcing the law, however, I do not understand the actions these sheriff’s carried out today.  Why ruin the life of a good kid, who is in essence a child, with a criminal record? This should have been, worse case scenario, a traffic violation. Ask yourselves how many times you have slow rolled through a stop sign in your vehicle or your bike.  Should this be how you’re treated? Or worse, is this how you would want your child treated?  As cyclists, we should always follow the laws of the road, but we should also stick together when situations like these arise.

If anyone out there can help, or knows someone who can, please reach out to me via DM and I will put you in contact with Javier’s father.  Thank you!!  P.S.

I have video and can provide the footage if it helps in any way.
  • Larry Smith 
    • $13 
    • 29 mos
  • Len Hirschi 
    • $15 
    • 29 mos
  • Michelle Moyer 
    • $20 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 29 mos
  • Karen Hass 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Richard Genaro Perpinan 
DeBary, FL
Javier Lopez