Cyclist hurt in hit-and-run; sent to Harborview

A 37-year-old Bainbridge Islander was arrested for hit and run after striking a cyclist and driving under the influence April 17.

The man was southbound on Highway 305 around 5:30 p.m. when calls of reckless driving began to roll in. Witnesses as far as the Clearwater Casino reported a large truck was swerving and alternately speeding up and slowing down. Dispatch at Kitsap 911 sent BI police to address what started as a possible DUI, but at 5:40 p.m. witnesses said the driver had struck a bicyclist and fled.

The bicyclist was airlifted to Harborview Medical Hospital in Seattle to be treated for injuries.

BIPD ran the license plates provided by witnesses and determined the person and home to which the truck was registered. Bainbridge officers confronted the driver in the North Town Woods neighborhood.

A Toyota Tundra was in the driveway, and the passenger side mirror was torn off, and there were scuffs on the passenger side window, one officer observed. The man who answered the door confirmed he had been driving the truck, at which point officers detained him.

“I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his person,” officer Nollan Quinn wrote in his report.

The man changed his story several times during initial questioning. At first, he told officers he came from Seattle about 90 minutes ago — then corrected himself and said he actually came from the White Horse Golf Club in Indianola about 30 minutes prior. He confirmed that he had driven down Highway 305, but denied stopping at the Clearwater Casino — or “hitting anything or anyone” along the way.

Officers asked the man about his alcohol intake that day. He said he’d drank “a couple beers” — four Coors Lights and two IPAs — at the golf club. There was also a can of Zyn, a brand of high-concentration nicotine pouch, in the front seat of the vehicle.

Quinn inquired about the damage to the side mirror.

“I asked him if he remembered if the mirror was damaged before leaving White Horse, he stated no. I asked him if the mirror should be on the vehicle then, he stated yes…He then stated he did not want to answer this,” Quinn wrote.

BIPD placed the man under arrest for vehicular assault and hit-and-run.