Bicyclist charged with vehicular assault
By LEVI PULKKINEN
A 32-year-old bicyclist accused of striking a child then fleeing the scene has been charged with vehicular assault and hit-and-run.
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.
Araneta was charged with vehicular assault and felony hit-and-run. He remains jailed on $5,000 bail, according to King County Jail records.