Councilman Recommends Pulling Permits for E-Scooter Companies if They Don't Cooperate in Criminal Investigations

A Los Angeles City councilman suggests the city should pull the permits for electric scooter companies if they do not work with police on criminal investigations.

It comes after cops confirm a hit and run involving a scooter. Scooter companies say they work with police but want to continue to do so through a legal, official process. An electric scooter is a motorized vehicle. California law requires an instruction permit or drivers license to ride one and it must travel on the road.

Councilman Paul Koretz tells the NBC4 I-Team getting information to police immediately after a crime could lead to the scooter rider who allegedly ran away after hitting a local pastor.

"I've always had severe doubts about the safety of scooters," said Koretz, a councilman for the fifth district.

Koretz is pushing the proposal for scooter companies to comply with criminal investigations upon request.

"If there is a hit and run or someone's been injured there's no reason that the company should be hiding their identity," he said.

George Wolfberg, the chairman of the Pacific Palisades Community Council, says the pastor suffered multiple injuries and needed stitches when he was hit by a person riding an electric scooter.

Wolfberg says the rider took off and the company who owns the scooter would not immediately give the rider's information to police. The pastor did not return calls requesting comment.

After the incident in April, Wolfberg sent a letter to city council members asking them to revoke or suspend scooter companies' permits if they refuse to cooperate with police following up on a crime.

Currently, police must file a legal document to request this type of information. Scooter company Lime would not comment on this specific incident, but a spokesperson says in a statement, "Lime values it partnership with Los Angeles and has and will always cooperate with law enforcement. In fact, we are currently working closely with the LAPD on enforcement and education efforts. Protecting our rider data, however, remains a priority to Lime so we do require a subpoena or warrant to release user data."

Bird and Spin echoed the statements.

"Bird encourages our riders and communities to report instances of irresponsible behavior to us, and to law enforcement. Bird investigates all reports thoroughly and takes appropriate measures, including working with law enforcement. We take privacy seriously and have policies and procedures in place to protect the information of our riders and all those in our community," a Bird spokesperson said.

Spin says in a statement to NBC4, "Spin always complies with lawful warrants/subpoenas. But we don't hand out privacy-sensitive rider information without that, because otherwise it would be a free-for-all and invasive for our users."

"It's better for victims, things like that, to put things to rest as quickly as possible," said LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow.

The LAPD confirms there has been at least one fatality during a traffic collision involving an electric scooter in LA.

"As we monitor things, as we track them, there's probably an opportunity to do a lot of education," Chow said, adding that police are working with scooter companies and the city's Department of Transportation to create safer ways to have the devices on the streets.

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