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Deputies attempt to find 'street-surfing' teen

May 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has launched an investigation after photographs surfaced of a Malibu teenager 'street surfing' on top of a moving car down Pacific Coast Highway. Deputies said the dangerous stunt is performed when someone stands on top of the hood or roof of a car while another person drives.

The photographs were taken by someone riding on a school bus. They were then sent to the Lost Hills Sheriff's station where authorities were alarmed and concerned that anyone would want to hop onto the roof of a car traveling at a high rate of speed. Car surfing has been popularized on websites like YouTube.

"It really is a pretty stupid thing to do. You can get seriously injured or killed doing something like that," said Sgt. Phillip Brooks of the Sheriff's Department. "I've seen that before on the internet, it may have been staged incidents, but never on an open highway like that."

Authorities found the female drivers' car from the pictures at Malibu High School where she is a student. Classmates said that car surfing is not uncommon.

"I've seen it happen. It's a dangerous sport but these adrenaline junkies, that's what they're looking for," said Malibu High School student Richard Avery. "This type of thing usually takes place on a regular basis but I guess today was just an unlucky day."

Sgt. Brooks argues that the teen was very lucky that he wasn't seriously hurt or killed while standing on the roof of a car in a 50-mile an hour zone.

"It's kind of silly to think of; In Malibu you're street surfing when you can go a couple hundred yards to the west and surf in the water where if you fall down there you only get wet versus falling off a car and getting run over," said Sgt. Brooks.

Avery said students sometimes car surf at speeds topping 60-miles-an-hour.

Sgt. Brooks said he believes the car surfer is 18-year-old thrill seeker Johnny Strange. Just a year ago, strange became the youngest person in the world to reach the highest peak in seven continents.

The District Attorney's office is still deciding and trying to figure out what kind of charges Strange and the driver will face.


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