UPDATE: After posting, the victim in this case contacted us. See the update below for more details.
Prosecutors have charged Mareko Lemafa with second degree assault for striking someone on a bike with his car after an argument in a bar in Greenwood in May (h/t Seattle PI).
According to charging documents, Lamafa and the alleged victim were at the Ould Triangle pub at Greenwood Ave and N 100th May 30, though they did not know each other previously. The victim brought his Specialized 10-speed into the bar, and Mareko asked him if the bike belonged to the victim.
The two then played pool together for an hour and a half, and Lemafa kept “harassing” the victim to buy him a Budweiser, according to the documents (UPDATE: The victim told us this only happened once). The victim refused to buy Lemafa a beer, then left the bar to ride home.
He was riding on Greenwood Ave when he heard a dark sedan behind him. The victim said he tried riding as far to the right as he could to get out of the way, but Lemafa rammed his car into the victim’s bike. The victim was able to jump out of the way before Lamafa ran over the bike on the ground. He was not seriously injured, but the bike was wrecked.
He recognized the driver as Lemafa and noted the license plate number. The next day, the victim was driving and saw the suspect’s vehicle on Palatine Ave about a block from the Ould Triangle.
The victim called police who arrived and arrested Lemafa. He has not yet entered a plea.
UPDATE: The victim contacted us and provided a few clarifications and additional details about what happened.
“I am a professional who just figured he’d ride his mountain bike to the bar to shoot some pool on what was a nice evening weather-wise,” he said.
He said the suspect was “completely off his rocker drunk.” He said there was no argument in the bar, exactly, and that he thinks the suspect was sizing him up while they were playing pool because he wanted to steal his “stump jumper.”
When he went to leave the bar, the suspect went outside to wait for him. The suspect was leaning on his car when the victim got on his bike to ride home. The suspect told him to come over and talk to him, but the victim declined saying he had to work and rode off with the suspect yelling at him to stop and talk.
Despite living just one block from bar, the suspect drove seven or eight blocks south out of the way to hit him, the victim said.
So, why isn’t he charged with first degree assault?
Assault in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
(a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or [b..poisoning, c..assault resulting in great harm]
Seems to me that intentionally running into someone with a fast-moving 3000 pound object would fit that pretty precisely.
Maybe because he was not seriously injured? That would be my guess.
Moral of the story: buy drunk islanders a beer.
At least enough beer that they pass out
Moral of the story: only take your bike to classy bars. Corollary, stay out of bars you wouldn’t take your bike into. Alternate moral – never play pool with a motorist IN a bar.
Well, well… what do we have here??
Real Moral Of The Story: Dude needs to knock off the hit and runs. Probably doesn’t need to be driving either.
this is all public information:
569205 – 6/1/2011- *this incident* – Hit&Run, Reckless Driving, Driving while Suspended – not tried
562749 -11/2010- assault, destruction property – dropped
555492 -6/2010- RECKLESS DRIVING, – GUILTY
202920220 -6/2010- driving w/out insurance – dismissed
532309 -12/2008- DUI- plead out to reckless driving
506384 -5/2007- harassment, destruction property – dismissed
440335 – 6/2005- driving while suspended/revoked – not charged
429108 – 11/2002- HIT AND RUN – GUILTY – suspended sentence
421852 – 5/2002- Negligent driving 1st degree -GUILTY – suspended sentence
There are more cases than this in other local courts, they just don’t post the case details online.
Delbert posted a remarkable litany of permissive outcomes.
Driving motor vehicles: Too important to fail. Our prostheses have become so vital for survival that we’re allowed to inflict mayhem to property and even death to persons without incurring significant discouragement, let alone being deprived of our motorized wheelchairs.
I was clearly kidding earlier.
We need to be much more quick to take a license (and probably the car, if found driving while license suspended) away. Make sure they feel it on every offense.
Fail to yield, ride the bus (or bike) for a month.
Hit and run, ride the bus for a year.
DUI, ride the bus for 5 years.
Kill someone, ride the bus for ever.
If nothing else, we get forced empathy.
I don’t care if we put them in jail (and that has much more impact on our courts and jails), just get them off the road if they can’t drive without showing obvious disregard for human life.
The research shows that if they are guaranteed a consequence, even a small consequence, every single time they break the law, it is much more effective deterrent that the threat of a massive sentence after 10 offenses.
Morals for cyclists aside, I agree with biliruben, unless he intended to suggest that taking away a license is actually a punishment any more than taking away a concealed weapons carry permit is part of the punishment for someone convicted of committing a felony. Driving is licensed by virtue of the unique potential to kill and maim with or entirely without intent to do so. THAT is why driving is a privlege instead of a right. Unlike the right to carry a firearm, which is itself only a right within reasonable limitations.
Oh yes, imagine a world where carrying and owning a firearm was a privilege with a license required just like driving but both with extremely tough punishment for using either wrongly. *sigh* We can only hope on both fronts.
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So how can you tell which bicyclists have DUI’s?
Why they are still smoking as they ride… passed a guy yesterday on the way to work. Obviously not riding for his health.
When I first read the title it sounded like someone ran to catch the biker and got in trouble for it. Now I see it makes equally no sense. People can be so awful.
This guy got 1 year of probation from judge Armstrong in King County for 3rd degree assault. Then he skipped to American Samoa where he smashed a girl in the face with a bottle over her rosary beads.
At least in the islands they take assault a little more seriously.