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.

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