SLO police file to charge motorcyclist, cite BLM protesters


The San Luis Obispo Police Department announced Monday it is recommending prosecutors charge motorcyclist David Medzyk with a misdemeanor count of reckless driving after he struck a BLM protester in a crosswalk. The city also cited two protesters for obstructing traffic.

On Sept. 2, motorcyclist David Medzyk turned left from Los Osos Street into a lane on Higuera Street where protesters Josephine Amarachi and Artemisia Shine were standing outside the crosswalk and blocking traffic.

After he drove past Amarachi and Shine, Medzyk struck protester LeiYahna Jefferson, who was yelling in a bull horn at drivers from the crosswalk. Jefferson was not seriously injured.

“Following the incident, Mr. Medzyk drove to SLOPD and filed a report claiming those in the crosswalk attempted to knock his motorcycle down,” according to police. “SLOPD reviewed videos of the incident taken by bystanders and concluded that the videos and other evidence do not depict any physical interaction between the pedestrians and the motorcycle, other than when Mr. Medzyk’s motorcycle hit Ms. Jefferson as Mr. Medzyck accelerated around the corner and through the crosswalk.”

Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney will review the officers’ investigation to determine what, if any, charges will be filed against Medzyck.

The California Vehicle Code requires pedestrians outside a crosswalk to yield the right‐of‐way to vehicles so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. Amarachi and Shine citations may require court appearances and fines.

“Motorists have a duty to use due care for the safety of pedestrians while operating their vehicles and it is a crime to fail to do so,” according to Capt. Jeff Smith. “It is also dangerous and a violation of the Vehicle Code to stand or walk in uncontrolled vehicle travel lanes. It is imperative that both motorists and protestors be extremely careful and follow the laws meant to protect pedestrian and driver safety.”