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Posted at 4:21 PM ET, 11/26/2010

Suspect sought in D.C. bike hit-and-run

By Carol Morello

Police are seeking a bicyclist they say ran into an elderly couple Friday as they were walking through an alley near the Washington Convention Center, critically injuring one before speeding away.

The man and woman, both in their 70s, were walking in an alley off the 600 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW around 10 a.m. when they were were struck by the bicyclist, police said.

Injured when they fell to the ground, both victims were taken to a hospital. The man was admitted in critical condition, police said.

Police are characterizing the incident as a hit-and-run.

The bicyclist did not stop, instead heading south through the alley toward I Street. Police said he was described as having black hair, and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. His bike appeared to be a BMX-style bicycle, designed for dirt and motocross cycling.

Police are offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the bicyclist's arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-9099 or 1-888-919-2746. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 1-855-411-TIPS or sending a text message to 50411.

By Carol Morello  | November 26, 2010; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  The District  
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Comments

Black hair, wearing hooded sweatshirt, and riding cheap BMX bike.
Could it possibly be one of those short, illegal aliens riding around to work.

Posted by: bluebellknoll | November 26, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This is what happened to me! I was hit by a cyclist, who left me sprawled in the middle of Connecticut Ave after hitting me while I was walking on a green light in a cross walk. He didn't even look back. Thankfully, I wasn't as badly injured as this person was. Cyclists are a horrible menace to pedestrians and show them no respect whatsoever, darting around while they're trying to walk because cyclists are too lazy to stop for them. They should be required to have tags on their bicycles so that they can be apprehended and held responsible for causing accidents. I always hear cyclists proclaim that they are legally entitled to the use of the road just like cars. Well, just like car drivers, they should be held legally responsible, register their bikes, and carry tags for the police to use in ticketing them.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 26, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes ride a bike, but I can't stand the Lance Armstrong wannabes that disregard everyone's safety and weave in and out of traffic and pedestrians at high rates of speed. They want the same rights as cars? Okay, then they should obey all traffic laws as well. That includes yielding to pedestrians.

Posted by: PostReader57 | November 26, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The Post's political correctness here is amusing. Do they really think the description they give is complete without giving the race of the suspect ? They say he has black hair. Why even bother with any description if you won't give the race ? Or do they assume that readers will assume that he's black, and therefore it isnt necessary to state his race ?

Maybe you could say, 'the suspect has black or very dark skin, black hair arranged in twists or dreads, large prominent lips and a rounded nose with flared nostrils'. Then you wouldnt have to say he's black.

Posted by: tomsol | November 26, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

cyclists not stopping at traffic lights or stop signs and riding on sidewalks is my biggest peeve. yes, they should be fined as heavily as automobile are. every bike should carry a license plate and have lights.

Posted by: smontgomery1 | November 26, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The article notes his hair color, but not his facial complexion (race)? 10 AM ... could possibly be a bicycle courier; an inexperienced one, at that.

Posted by: localgoober | November 26, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame, as always, you are on point.

Posted by: RockCreekPark | November 26, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

This wasn't a courier or a commuter. They don't ride BMX bikes, nor is the convention center area a big commuting or courier area. And if your biggest worry or peeve is about bicyclists, then you've probably got a pretty good life going. This is a story because it is relatively rare. The offender is likely a menace whether driving a bike or a car. In any event, it is a serious crime and I hope they catch him, just like I hope they catch all those who commit serious crimes. But to characterize all cyclists as a "horrible menaces" is silly, just as characterizing all motorists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians as menaces would be, even though many of each of them are.

Posted by: 20007 | November 26, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Car free DC! Bike share is already here. Soon it will be illegal to drive downtown! Support your bike share program and a car free DC.

Posted by: aabyood | November 26, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

i agree with postreader57, lance armstrong is always just weaving in and out of traffic with total disregard for everyone's safety and he is a terrible role model.

Posted by: seancrates | November 26, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

i agree with postreader57, lance armstrong is always just weaving in and out of traffic with total disregard for everyone's safety and he is a terrible role model. cancer is no excuse for rolling through stop signs.

Posted by: seancrates | November 26, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The person who rode his bicycle into these two elderly people should be held accountable for his crime, but he should also be accurately described, too. What's with the 'black hair' description? Crazy. There is nothing wrong with describing skin color--better than all but saying the rider is Hispanic and making us read between the lines. But getting to the crux of the issue, I agree that cyclists should not be allowed to race around with impunity. There is plenty of opportunity to do intervals or get a great workout without endangering others in the process. But I digress, really. The person who hit the pedestrians is probably just a guy who is riding a bike until he can get a car--or get his car back.

Posted by: robbindc | November 26, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

What effete stupidity ..to equate this unfortunate story with Lance Armstrong.

Posted by: autoworker | November 26, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

hahahaha....So many people automatically assume that it is an illegal alien or a black guy. Guess no other race or culture has dark hair, huh?!?!?!? Hypocrites. You claim to want democracy and freedom but what you really believe in is oppression and denial of anyone else who is different way of life.

Posted by: paliceag | November 26, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I have to walk down a steep hill on Connecticut Avenue every morning. I am grateful for the cyclists who ride in the street, because I was struck by a cyclist on the sidewalk last year, twisting my knee. Of course the guy didn't stop. Can the cops at least police the sidewalks? Some of these guys hit 25 MPH going into a crowd. I now walk between parking meters and light poles because I'm so afraid of getting hit again. Thank you.

Posted by: Dave115 | November 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Sounds more like a drug deal gone bad than a hit-and-run...

Posted by: dickinyobooty69 | November 26, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Did he have shoes on? Maybe it was the shoes... Let's see a guy on a BMX bike; this is one of those kids mostly local scooting around downtown. Sure he's (maybe not a "he," eh?) local, not one of us riders that do take big chances but in 40 years haven't harmed a fly. He was likely wearing shoes and would have run you down in some parkour thing anyway. I be he had friends waiting to rip off this unfortunate couple, right around the corner, but they overreacted. They're fortunate.

Posted by: watashiwa | November 26, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Bike riders in DC are largely irresponsible and uncontrolled. They mis-understand how the traffic rules apply to them, more often than not acting as if no rules applied whatsoever. I've had friends run over by bike riders, both of whom left the scene. And my doctor tells a horrifying story of tending to a victim of a hit and run on the WO&D, who later died. The biker rider was never heard from again.

Having just returned from NYC at the least the riders there stick to the streets. One isn't trying to fend them off the sidewalks too.

Posted by: 44fx2901 | November 26, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I also thought, "Why don't they give us the culprit's race?!?" Perhaps the couple didn't report it? Maybe all they clearly remembered was being knocked over by a BMX ridden by someone in a gray sweater shirt who had black hair.

Posted by: miakulpe | November 26, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

It seems plausible that it was an intentional assault, possibly as part of an intended robbery. It certainly doesn't seem like someone just using a bicycle for a mode of transportation.

Posted by: vmax02rider | November 26, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

My deepest sympathy to the two that were hit.

According to the CDC 43,945 deaths in transportation crashes were caused by motor vehicle operators in 2007. My condolences to any and all victims of others stupidity, but I still fear motor vehicle drivers much more than rogue bicycle riders and rogue pedestrians. I have a feeling at least half the drivers out there are below average.

Posted by: hoopsi | November 26, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Suspect thought to be a "Hispanic male."

Source: http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/mpdc/section/2/release/20816/year/2010

See, WaPo---the world doesn't come to an end when you report race accurately.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | November 26, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

RealityCheckerInEffect wrote:

Suspect thought to be a "Hispanic male."

Source: http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/mpdc/section/2/release/20816/year/2010

See, WaPo---the world doesn't come to an end when you report race accurately.
------

First, a reality check for Reality Checker: the description says "appeared to be," not "thought to be." A fine point perhaps, but there's a difference.

Second, this description says nothing about complexion. Hispanics can be anywhere from quite pale to quite dark. They can be Caucasian or Black. "Appeared to be" Hispanic could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But the fact that skin color still wasn't given seems to have gone right by RealityChecker, and I for one am wondering why. And if this witness was in fact unable to give skin color (open to question), how reliable is "appeared to be Hispanic?"

Posted by: chaos1 | November 27, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

"Police said he was described as having black hair, and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and dark pants."

OMG! I can see three suspects out my window! But wait none of them has a BMX bike. What kind if shoes was he wearing? With a description like that the suspect is as good as caught.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | November 28, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Most of the cyclists in DC have no regard for traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians, cars, traffic lanes, or anything else drivers in cars have to constantly watch for. They just sail along blightly uncaring and assume all will get (or fall) out of their way, and get extremely angry when it doesn't happen. Cyclists should keep to outlying roads when they want to get their exercise. Cycling in traffic is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: ramsheadtavern | November 28, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think there should be enforcement of all traffic laws, on all offenders. But this story is not really about people breaking the traffic laws, it's about a criminal who ran over someone and fled. Had he been in a car, would all of you be making a similar point about how irresponsible all drivers are?

Posted by: krickey7 | November 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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