Critical Mass riders injure driver in Capitol Hill altercation
Seattle police were still looking today for one of a group of Critical Mass bicyclists who injured a driver during a violent altercation on Capitol Hill Friday evening.
Seattle police said they were still looking today for one of a group of Critical Mass bicyclists who attacked and injured a driver during a violent altercation on Capitol Hill Friday evening.
Two other bicyclists have been jailed. But some riders in the event have said the driver was the aggressor.
Just after 7 p.m. Friday, the group of at least 100 bicyclists was moving en masse down East Aloha Street when a man and his girlfriend in a Subaru station wagon tried to pull out of a parking spot, said Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
For years, Critical Mass has held monthly public bike rides through Seattle to demonstrate for bicyclists' road rights.
According to Jamieson, as the Critical Mass group moved down the street, blocking traffic, some riders got in the way of the Subaru and prevented it from leaving. Some bikers sat on the car and were banging on it, he said.
"The driver was pretty fearful that he was about to be assaulted by the bicyclists," Jamieson said.
The man tried to back up, but bumped into a biker. "This enraged the group," Jamieson said.
Several of the bikers bashed up the Subaru, shattering the windshield and rear window, Jamieson said.
The driver tried to drive away, but hit another bicyclist, Jamieson said. Still, he drove about a block, to the corner of Aloha and 15th Avenue East, before the Critical Mass riders cornered the car again and started spitting on it and banging against it.
One bicyclist punched the driver through his open window, and another used a knife to slash the Subaru's tires, Jamieson said.
The driver got out of his car, and was hit in the back of the head, opening a large gash.
Eventually police arrived and the crowd dispersed. Witnesses identified two bikers who damaged the Subaru, two men in their early 20s, and they were booked into the King County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief, Jamieson said.
Police interviewed and got the identity of the man who hit the driver, but turned him loose before a witness identified him as the attacker, Jamieson said. But police know who he is and were trying to find him today.
The driver was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening, Jamieson said. His girlfriend wasn't hurt. The bicyclists didn't suffer any serious injuries, Jamieson said.
Jamieson said it was too early this weekend to say whether the incident might change the way the Seattle Police Department handles future Critical Mass rides, which are held on the last Fridays of each month.
No one from Critical Mass could be reached today to comment.
On an online forum for Seattle bicyclists, some riders who said they were in the Critical Mass ride characterized the Subaru driver as the aggressor. They said the driver was impatient about having to wait for the huge group of riders and intentionally ran into some of them, prompting the altercation.
The riders said the man's tires were slashed to keep him from fleeing the scene or running into more riders.
Seattle Times newsroom: 206-464-2204 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case
NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(Courtesy of LeMay — America's Car Museum) New LeMay exhibit to look at NASCAR LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma will look at the wil...
Post a comment