Cyclist Allegedly Hits Child and Rides Away

In a story sure to bring out the PI Bike Haters Club (that’s the bike-hating commenters that fill the Seattle PI forums with their hate on any bike-related article, including deaths), King 5 is reporting that a cyclist hit a child and then a crowd tackled that cyclist who tried to ride away. We haven’t been able to find other stories or a police report yet.

A 6 year-old Seattle boy is home from the hospital today, but may require reconstructive surgery, after a bicyclist struck him at a busy downtown intersection.

…. about 15 bystanders chased the cyclist to the southeast corner of the instersection, “ganged up on him and tackled him and held him until police arrived,” he said. “I thought it was awesome.”

Readers? Any more details on this story?


The Seattle PI reports that the cyclist has been charged.

On Friday, King County prosecutors contend, Rafael Araneta was approaching Pike Street on First Avenue when he saw that several cars were stopped at the downtown Seattle intersection. Rather than stop at the red light, Araneta allegedly moved to pass the stopped traffic and cross the intersection against the light.

Cutting in front of another pedestrian, Araneta’s bicycle struck a 6-year-old child, prosecutors argued in court documents. The child was thrown to the ground so hard his jaw was broken, an injury that later required it be wired shut.

Prosecutors contend that Araneta fell off his bike, but then grabbed the bike and began riding away. Several witnesses restrained Araneta until police arrived.

Confronted by officers, Araneta allegedly admitted to hitting the child.

In a City that struggles with bike hate, this is more bad news. In another PI article this is noted:

Upon his arrest Araneta told police “he was scared … and that he didn’t know what to do,” charging documents said. Police said that Araneta’s bike didn’t have brakes or a headlight, charging papers said.

That implies a fixie or at least a bike with no brakes. If that’s true, it’s something I think we don’t talk enough about: how stupid it is to ride a bike with no brakes. Especially stupid, when companies ship bikes with no brakes. The reason why is that there are a handful of cyclists that can handle a bike with no brakes, Araneta is likely not one of them and neither are most of us.

Smashing into a kid while avoiding a stop light coming down a steep hill is a good example of why bikes should have brakes.


he made the mistake when he ran the light and ran from the scene. As a Father and a cyclist who wears a helmet and follows stop signs, I gotta say I would have punchifised the guy…

Yep—I was trying to cross-reference it with another article but haven’t seen one to confirm the details.

Is it only news stories about cyclist accidents that don’t include details such as if the cyclists ran the light or the people where crossing against the light? or is this common procedure for even car accident news reporting? I can imagine there might be reasons for this when the events aren’t so clear that it’s best not to report speculation, but it sure seems like you would know such details in this case.

Exactly what I thought—that’s a dramatic story, cyclist runs a light, hits a kid, gets tackled by a mob. But no name, no type of cyclist, nothing. I’ll keep looking for more details.

Seriously hope the kid is alright and hope his injuries are only temporary. Getting hit by anything that in combination weighs around 200 lbs, going at typical bicycle speed has to hurt. That said…

If there is any sort of cosmic sense of irony, the cyclist will, at some point announce to a media interviewer, police officer, or judge “Didn’t see ‘em” and expect leniency.

Also, if there is any sort of cosmic sense of justice, roving mobs will now run down motorists who hit motorcyclists/cyclists/pedestrians, drag them from their car (preferably through the broken windshield) and administrate a lesson in civic responsibility. And the media will cover these stories with a wink and an “atta boy!” nod so as to make it fashionable to do such.

Yes and considering prejudice, I bet most people imagine a U-lock adorned, tight-jeaned, no-brake fixie rider as the culprit.

Just 7 days ago a six year old Lisa Xavier was hit (and the perp ran) in front of my office when Shannon Fox of East Palo Alto ran a red light at 70 mph. The little girl didn’t survive that collision. Her mother is in critical care. Her father works down the hall from me. The driver jumped out of his wrecked car, hopped into another car and took off—nobody tackled and punchified him.

Sorry to hear that. But they caught him, right?

seems like there’s not much real data out there about the pending case.  the guy will be arraigned in a couple weeks, i guess, so maybe more news then. chances are nothing will come out before then.  if he’s part of a scene, no one else is gonna step forward and claim him, and it’s not like they have membership lists.

Hmm. I ride a fixed gear bike, and I’m not a member of a secret society. Maybe I haven’t been recruited because my bike has a front brake?

More to the point, I’m also the father of a 7 year-old, and my heart goes out to the child and his family. Probably not too many fathers didn’t immediately jump to, “I woulda beat the crap outta that guy!” when they read this story. Maybe a few of us would have actually done that, but I suspect most would have been too busy caring for our kid to worry about hurting someone else. My daughter suffered a facial dog bite several weeks ago, and the last thing on my mind was punishing the dog or it’s owner.

The fact that this story is seen as anything more than an accident involving potentially negligent or reckless behavior by a single individual simply shows how irrational people are about transportation issues, and particularly bicycle issues. If I poke somebody in the eye with a chopstick, that doesn’t reveal anything meaningful at all about the character of all-people-who-use-chopsticks. It shouldn’t even need to be said that that all types of people ride bikes.

Well put. The last incident like this was the homeless drunk that was labeled a cyclist.

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