UPDATE: Ballona Creek Bike Attack Hospitalizes Manhattan Beach Man

Culver City police identify the location where the attack took place; have no one in custody.

Bill Fournell in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after the assault.
Bill Fournell in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after the assault.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include additional information from the Culver City Police Department, including the exact time and place of the incident.

Manhattan Beach school board member Bill Fournell is home from the hospital recovering from wounds suffered when three men attempted to steal his bike in Culver City on the Ballona Creek Bike Path on July 19.

The incident left Fournell with a broken collarbone, broken ribs and punctured lungs and required five days in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Fournell's assailants, one of whom started the incident by throwing a bike into his front wheel, causing him to crash, have not been caught, according to Culver City Police. When Fournell crashed, one of the three assailants, described as juvenile male Hispanics, tried to steal his Litespeed road bike, he said. They engaged in a tug of war and the assailant relented.

Culver City Police Lt. Jason Sims told Patch the attempted robbery incident took place around 6 p.m. between the Higuera and Duquesne bridges on the bike path. 

Lt. Sims also said this is not something that regularly occurs on the bike path and that the investigation is ongoing. As of July 30, the assailants had still not been apprehended.

Fournell told Patch he was grateful for the help of passersby who called 911 and stayed with him "as I could not talk and was barely able to breath due to the broken ribs and punctured lung," he wrote in an email.

Fournell rides his bike to and from his Farmer’s Insurance office in Mid-Wilshire two times a week, he said.

Though the incident has taken him off his feet, Fournell is looking at the brighter side. "I am pretty active and especially as a cyclist so being off my feet has kept me off the bike and missing time at the beach," he wrote. "Not sure when I'll be able to ride again. But all in all I am lucky as things could have been much much worse." 

In his note, Fournell thanks the "friends, co-workers, and the community" who have been "so kind and generous to us during this time. Really makes you feel so grateful to live in a community like Manhattan Beach."

Fournell said he intends to return to work when his doctors clear him to do so, perhaps as soon as next week.

Culver City Patch Editor Kelly Hartog contributed to this article.


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