SEATTLE – Police announced an arrest Thursday in a hit and run that killed a Seattle bicyclist last summer.
Michael Wang was hit by an SUV on July 28, 2011 while riding on Dexter Avenue North at Thomas Street in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. He was on his way home to Shoreline.
Seattle Police Asst. Chief Paul McDonough said Erlin Garcia-Reyes, 28, of Normandy Park was interviewed Wednesday by police and arrested. He could have his first court appearance Thursday.
Lead detective Tom Dacon said there were over 50 tips during the course of the investigation and that initial descriptions about the suspect vehicle were incorrect.
McDonough said information released to the public would be limited for now because prosecutors are working on the case.
“It is our sincere hope that this development will lead to some sense of justice and closure for Mike Wang’s children, his wife, his family, friends and for the people and communities around the world whose stories he told through his wonderful photography,” said Doug Palm, Wang’s employer at Path in Seattle.
Wang was a member of the Cascade Bicycle Club. Club member Chuck Ayers praised Wang for his commitment to riding and the city of Seattle’s efforts to make cycling more accessible.
He also sent a message to drivers and cyclists alike.
“It is every person’s shared responsibility to look out for each other. Put down the phones. Stop texting. Unplug your ears. Obey the laws,” said Ayers.
Police said no single tip led them to Reyes, but they praised the community’s assistance in the case.
“We take these crimes, because that’s what they are, very, very seriously and we’re not going to give up,” said McDonough. “But we still need the community’s engagement to help us resolve these.”
According to court records, Garcia-Reyes has criminal traffic violations in 2008 and 2009 that were adjucated in Seattle Municipal Court. He has an outstanding traffic ticket from June 2. The Washington State Patrol stopped him in King County for speeding. He was also cited for not having insurance.