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June 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Suspect in Shoreline bicyclist’s death pleads not guilty

A Normandy Park man accused of the hit-and-run death of bicyclist Michael Wang pleaded not guilty during his arraignment this morning in King County Superior Court.

A judge ordered Erlin Garcia-Reyes, 28, to be held on $500,000 bail. He also placed an immigration detainer on him at the request of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in the event that he posts bail. Garcia-Reyes in a native of Honduras and has been in the U.S. for five years.

Wang, 44, a photographer at PATH, a global health nonprofit in Seattle, was headed north on Dexter Avenue North in Seattle shortly before 4 p.m. July 28 when he was struck by an SUV that was making a left turn onto Thomas Street, police said. The driver of the vehicle fled.

Wang, a father of two young children, had commuted by bicycle to his Shoreline home for several years, according to his wife, Claire Allen. The accident sent shock waves through Seattle’s biking community, prompting calls for added safety measures for cyclists.

It is not clear from the document of probable cause what prompted investigators to focus on Garcia-Reyes. He was arrested June 7.

Seattle police Detective Tom Bacon attributed the arrest to tips and traditional police work. “It was not one particular thing, but a series of things that happened and we put the pieces together,” he said during a news conference to announce the arrest.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: hit and run, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Seattle Police Department

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