Hit-and-Run Outrage

Readers reacted stridently to our news that Australian businessman Ryan Bowman will be jailed for just a year for last year's hit-and-run killing of a 21-year-old woman on Sunset Boulevard.

Bowman, distributor of the Girls Gone Wild videos, struck Lauren Ann Freeman as she stood in a crosswalk to hail a cab on Nov. 10. He fled in his Bentley without stopping.

For leaving the scene of the accident, an L.A. County Superior Court judge sentenced Bowman last week to 364 days in jail, including the seven months he has served awaiting disposition of his case. Judge Elden Fox also gave Bowman four years of probation. He will be jailed at the relatively cushy Seal Beach Police Detention Center.

"Unbelievable — a pedestrian is killed in a car crash, the driver leaves the scene (and the girl to die) and he merely gets four years of probation and a year's worth of jail time?" writes a reader identified as Rodney. "As deplorable as it is, there is still a way for the woman's family to be vindicated. They can sue Bowman for wrongful death, and basis to merit a huge award of damages. Neither prison nor money will ever bring back their loved one, but Bowman should be held liable in every way possible."

Indeed, Freeman's family — her parents and a brother — are suing Bowman, who nonetheless has agreed to pay them an undisclosed amount of restitution.

"I am as outraged as this victim's family and friends must be," Sean writes. "One year in a five-star private jail? We should all be ashamed of our legal system this very day."

Wendy writes: "This goon roared through a stop sign, throwing her 50 feet in front of witnesses before continuing on his merry ass-saving way. Premeditated? Using a powerful 'tool' in an illegal manner with no regard for consequences ... Moneybags hired Lindsay Lohan's celebrity lawyer. Shame on both."

McLame1122 writes: "I want to move back to California but have no money. I have been to Seal Beach and I would gladly stay in the Seal Beach jail if I could get 1-2 days off a week to get my life back in CA. He gets this for killing someone and running away."

Nexus writes: "Anyone who can still claim that we do not have a two-tier justice system can go fuck off. This asshole needs a hot Clorox enema ... and so does the judge that signed off on this atrocity."

When in Bolivia ...

This topic might be a tad arcane for many  readers, but we confess to loving it. Marcelo, from Salta, Argentina, weighs in on a discussion last week in "Ask Mr. Gold" between Weekly Music Editor Gustavo Turner, who was born in Argentina, and food critic Jonathan Gold, who was not.

The topic: Why is the Bolivian version of the empanada called a salteña?

"I think the reason is geographical rather than historical," Marcelo writes. "Salta is in northern Argentina, close to the Bolivian border. There is a great influx of people from Bolivia to Argentina, with Salta as a compulsory point of transit.

"So, although all Argentine provinces produce delicious empanadas, I think Bolivians, in a generalization, call empanadas salteñas just because Salta is the Argentine province they are most closely in contact with.

"Something similar happened elsewhere, with names of food, or even people. The Greeks have always called themselves 'Hellenes,' but the Romans started calling them 'Greeks' just because the Greeks were the first Hellenic tribe they came into contact with.

"Here is another example. In Argentina we have the nasty habit of calling people from Spain 'Gallegos' just because there was a wave of immigration from Galicia at the beginning of the 20th century. So, a person from Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao or Seville will inevitably be called 'Gallego' in Argentina, even though their place of origin has nothing to do with Galicia."  

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