Blaine man arrested after cyclist hit in bike lane on Meridian Street

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 3, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - A Blaine man was arrested for vehicular assault Monday evening, June 2, after he allegedly crashed into a bicyclist and drove off, according to the Bellingham Police Department.

Rory Zapien, 24, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of vehicular assault, injury hit and run and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

Zapien was driving northbound in the 3500 block of Meridian Street at about 5:30 p.m. when he allegedly hit a cyclist riding in the bike lane, throwing the rider and the bike onto the hood and windshield of his car. Zapien stopped briefly and two passengers got out of his car and fled the scene, Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said. He then drove off, Vander Yacht said, despite witnesses telling him to stay.

His car had hit a curb after hitting the bicyclist, resulting in two flat tires, but he was able to make it to a business lot on East Orchard Drive. He parked his car behind a van, "as if to conceal it from view," Vander Yacht said. An officer quickly spotted him.

Zapien's blood is being tested for drugs or alcohol, Vander Yacht said.

The cyclist was taken to St. Joseph hospital for treatment. The seriousness of the injuries was unavailable Tuesday.

Reach Zoe Fraley at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or 360-756-2803. Read the Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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