On Riptide's message boards and across the web, Miami's bikers have raged about Sunday's gruesome hit-and-run accident near Key Biscayne that left 44-year-old cyclist Christophe Le Canne dead on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Plenty of that anger has been directed at Bertonatti himself, and with good reason. If the 28-year-old crooner did what police say he did -- dragging Le Canne's mangled bike for miles and leading cops on a chase to his parent's posh condo -- it's impossible to justify.
But cyclists also say Miami-Dade's mixed-up jurisdiction over the Rickenbacker is partly to blame. Medics took more than 20 minutes to show up and help the bleeding Le Canne, witnesses say. Dispatchers never called Key Biscayne firefighters, who were much closer, because the bridges are Miami-Dade's turf.
Now activists have a plan to do something about it.
Cyclists are rallying for a county commission meeting Thursday afternoon about the Key Biscayne fire station. And for Le Canne, another group is planning a mass ride Sunday across the Rickenbacker to remember the fallen biker.
At Thursday's city commission hearing, a special item on funding for the Key Biscayne firehouse has been added to the agenda, tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m.
Cyclists have been circulating emails, trying to amass numbers for a protest at the county commission. They want funding restored to the fire station, which was closed the morning of the accident owing to budget rollbacks.
It's not clear whether a quicker response would have saved Le Canne, because witnesses estimated Bertonatti slammed into him at more than 60 mph. But Jose Diaz, a Pompano Beach paramedic and cyclist who tried to save Le Canne after the crash, tells the Miami Herald it might have helped.
"He needed to be transported immediately; he needed IVs and intubation to have a fighting chance. But he never got it," he says.
Tim Elfrink is an award-winning investigative reporter, the managing editor of the Miami New Times and the co-author of "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era." Since 2008, he's written in-depth pieces on police corruption, fatal shootings and social justice issues across South Florida. He's won the George Polk Award and has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.