Police say they have arrested the person they suspect struck and killed Mike Wang on Dexter Ave Last year. Details will be announced at an 11 a.m. press conference.
UPDATE: The suspect is Erlin Garcia Reyes, 28, from Normandy Park. Police said the information currently available to release is limited and up to the prosecutors to release.
Police went to Garcia Reyes’ home Wednesday to interview him about the incident. After the interview, they placed him under arrest. He has not yet been charged.
The arrest was the result of “good old fashioned police work” and help from the community, said Detective Tom Bacon. They said the $6,000 reward offered by the Taiwanese Association was likely a factor in solving the case, though they said no one tip really lead to the arrest on its own.
“We take these crimes very seriously, and we’re not going to give up,” said Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh.
“I hope the prosecutors will do their jobs,” said John Choe of the Taiwanese Association, who mentioned that Wang’s father is an active member of the group.
While nothing can bring back Mike Wang (or Brad Nakatani or Robert Townsend), speakers hoped that this might lead to a little closure in the case and send a message that everyone needs to slow down and take care of each other on the roads.
KIRO has posted video of the full press conference online. We will have more information once prosecutors release it.
UPDATE 12:30pm: Seattle Times reports that Garcia Reyes was recently arrested days ago and charged with a second hit-and-run, this time involving a 76 gas station window and door:
In that case, Garcia-Reyes was a passenger in a vehicle that drove into the parking lot of the 76 gas station at 10500 Greenwood Ave. N. on Sunday. Instead of pulling straight into a parking stall, the vehicle went over the curb, striking the store’s front window and glass door, charging documents say.
The driver jumped into the vehicle’s back seat and Garcia -Reyes got into the driver’s seat and drove away from the scene, according to the court documents. Police and prosecutors say the incident was caught on the gas station’s video surveillance.
According to court documents, Garcia-Reyes then went to his girlfriend’s home, called 911 and reported his vehicle stolen. The unoccupied vehicle was located at an apartment complex in the 10300 block of Fremont Ave. N., the documents say.
Garcia-Reyes was charged in that case with hit and run and false reporting on Monday.
UPDATE 3:45pm: The Seattle Times reports that the probable cause statement from prosecutors says investigators started focusing on Garcia-Reyes in April. Investigators say he admitted to the hit-and-run during their interview Wednesday:
According to a statement of probable cause released this afternoon by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, police began focusing on the suspect, Garcia-Reyes, in April. Police said his silver 2002 Chevrolet Suburban matched the description of the vehicle that struck Wang.
The affidavit says police interviewed Garcia-Reyes at his home on Wednesday and he said he was involved in the collision and fled the scene.
UPDATE 7:30pm: SPD has released a photo of the suspect’s vehicle, which has been impounded:
Wang was biking home north on Dexter from his job at PATH when a car described as a brown SUV made a quick left turn onto Thomas and struck him. Witnesses said the SUV stopped, paused, then sped away.
In March, the Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle offered a $6,000 reward for information that led to an arrest in the case.
Stay tuned for more information.
WHAT: Seattle Police Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives have solved the July 28, 2011 hit and run case near Dexter Avenue N and N Thomas Street that killed Michael Wang.
WHEN: Today at 11 AM.
WHERE: Seattle Police Headquarters, 610 5th Avenue, Lower Level Conference Room
WHO: Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh will be joined by representatives from the Cascade Bicycle Club, PATH and the Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle.