LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A woman died Sunday after being pushed off her bicycle by a man leaning out of a passing car. That man also died after he fell from the vehicle as the driver fled the scene.
The Clark County Coroner identified the bicyclist killed in the attack as 56-year-old Michelle Marie Weissman. Her cause of death has not yet been released.
Weissman was wearing her helmet, police said.
“Senseless is an understatement,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Ray Spencer said of the attack on Sunday. “You have a woman who was out riding her bicycle and they pull up next to her and strike her, causing her to die. It’s an absolute senseless act. There’s no reason that I could tell you as to why it occurred other than complete stupidity.”
The driver involved in the incident, 22-year-old Rodrigo Cruz, was arrested and faces an open murder charge, failure to stop at the scene of an accident and a parole violation, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department booking logs.
The identity of the vehicle passenger has not been released yet.
Cruz, who was driving south in a minivan, allegedly moved the vehicle closer to the sidewalk. That’s when the passenger stuck his body outside of the van as far as he could and attempted to push a couple that was walking but failed, police said.
The couple said the driver of the minivan then pulled close to Weissman in the bicycle lane.
The passenger again reached out of the window and pushed Weissman with his hand. Weissman fell and hit the ground. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The passenger was also killed after falling from the minivan.
“The momentum of hitting the bicyclist caused [the minivan passenger] to fall out of the vehicle. … He traveled along the asphalt for about 150 feet, striking his head on a streetlight,” Lt. Spencer said.
Cruz was denied bail due to his parole violation and will remain in custody until his next hearing. He has two prior felony convictions.