On December 6, 2020, an autistic 12 year-old Filipino boy was hit and killed by Richard Lavalle, 59. Lavallle, in the wrong lane after running a stop sign, struck 12-year old Noel Bascon, who was riding his bicycle in the crosswalk. The impact launched the boy several feet away from the pick-up truck.

Passersby and officers attempted to give CPR, but unfortunately Bascon was pronounced dead at the hospital. The Orange County DA Todd Spitzer is fed up with these accidents happening: “Taking a Sunday bike ride with your dad shouldn’t equate to a death sentence.”

Lavelle and his passenger remained at the scene, where he was subsequently arrested and booked on the suspicion of murder, driving under the influence of drugs, and a parole violation. He faces 30 years to life if he is convicted.

Lavalle has a prior conviction of driving under the influence back in 2013, resulting in a hold without bail. He was also convicted in federal court of an armed bank robbery in 2009 and served time in prison. After being released, he again returned to prison for violating his parole. Records also show he was convicted of another robbery in LA County in 2018.

Having prior convictions, he most definitely was aware of the risks he took by getting behind the wheel that evening and taking an innocent young life due to his poor decisions. Spitzer says, “I am sick and tired of my prosecutors having to go to court to file murder charges against repeat drunk and drugged drivers who have been warned about the consequences.”