Point Loma Bicyclist Is Victim in Hit-and-Run on Catalina Blvd — Wants to Catch the Driver and Needs the Public’s Help

by on May 2, 2023 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Michael Chen / KGTV / May 01, 2023

A former San Diego Police officer and helicopter pilot of out of the hospital, and asking for help finding the hit-and-run driver who seriously injured him during a bike ride. A Ring camera captured the moment a white pickup struck cyclist Tristan Gonzalez, 51, along Catalina Blvd, leaving him yelling in pain.

It happened two Thursdays ago, during rush hour. Gonzalez was an hour and a half into a bike ride, and not far from home. Gonzalez says near Narrangansett Ave., he suddenly saw a truck driving very close to him, so close it tapped his handlebars.

With the truck stuck behind a car, Gonzalez says he looked inside but the driver wouldn’t look at him. Gonzalez kept going, and a few blocks away, near Bernice Drive, he heard a horn honking behind him.

“I hear him speed up, just had time to look, and see it was the truck. I saw his hands on the steering wheel. He just turned suddenly. He just cranked it hard right, and I knew it was coming,” said Gonzalez.

Blurred image of white truck speeding away on Catalina.

Gonzalez says he was hit, went flying, and landed on his back. Moments later, a car came around a curve. “The bumper hit my helmet, made that scrape sound, lifted, dropped over me. Now I see the tire coming. In my head, my next thought is, ‘This is how I die,’” said Gonzalez.

Amazingly, the tire would stop just before going over his head. But Gonzalez would not escape unscathed, suffering a fractured clavicle, hip and a collapsed lung.

Gonzalez, a former helicopter pilot for San Diego Police, retired from the department last year after 23 years. “I don’t believe it was an accident. I believe it was intentional, the fact he went out of his way to catch me, to get me,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, who once helped in searches for hit-and-run suspects, is now hoping tips will track down the driver who hit him. “He needs to be caught. He’ll do it again, and next time, someone could die,” said Gonzalez.

The suspect is described as between 30 and 50 years old, wearing a baseball cap. Gonzalez says the truck is a newer white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with an extended cab.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

unwashedwalmartthonG May 2, 2023 at 9:03 pm

Total bummer.
Dirtbag driver
Check with every house on Catalina; perhaps someone else has a doorbell recording of the truck & driver.
What other cameras would be in the area? The dirtbag had to escape OB somehow.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but years ago I was riding my bike out in Twenty Nines Palms, heading east. A small white pickup truck blazed past me and the passenger tossed a half gallon jug of water at me. The jug slammed my left arm & back. Bruises from elbow to shoulder, hip to armpit. Never saw the tag. CHP couldn’t do jack without info.

How do you catch jerks like these jerks? Perhaps as cyclists we need to have a personal drone follow us as we ride, & it would record everything.


FrankF May 4, 2023 at 7:06 am

Catalina is a dead end street, most people who drive it are coming and going from home or work. That driver probably travels Catalina daily. Perhaps sitting at the Catalina and Narragansett traffic light and watching for that truck and driver might be a good investment in time for Mr. Gonzalez?


Chris May 4, 2023 at 10:23 am

Shitty thing to say. Regardles of what Mr. Gonzalez could have done differently that might have prevented being hit, the one and only thing that should be focused on is bringing the driver to justice.


Devon May 13, 2023 at 8:41 am

2 years ago a black truck on newport during the day tried smashing me into park cars whilw driving a gas moped. It was crazy and intentional. I squeezed out and then he slammed on his brakes so i would rear end him. Instantly down. I chased him through ob for at least 20 minutes trying to get the plate. I ran out of gas. The road rash on my leg started to get bigger. Watching flesh rot off your body is crazy. Someone who knows nothing of you open to kill you…..reality check.


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