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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

February 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM

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Charges filed in road rage incident between bicyclist, driver

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

A Redmond man who allegedly threw his bicycle at a car after the driver honked at him has been charged with first-degree malicious mischief.

The alleged combatants, bicyclist Chad W. Olson, 42, and driver Ben D. Han, 46, each gave Redmond police different accounts of the Oct. 16 confrontation, according to charging papers filed last week in King County Superior Court.

Han said he and his wife were driving east on Old Redmond Road when they came up to a bicyclist who was weaving between the bike lane and the roadway, the charges allege. Han honked at the bicyclist, identified by police as Olson, and then drove ahead of him.

The bicyclist then "chased" Han's car down. When Olson caught up to the car he hit the driver's-side mirror and spit on the vehicle, the charges say.

At a stoplight, Olson pulled ahead of the car and got off his bike, according to the charges. Olson then threw the bicycle at the passenger's side of the car.

In total, there was almost $5,700 worth of damage to the Hans' car, charges allege.

After police were summoned by the Hans, Olson walked into the Redmond Police Department to report a road rage incident, charges said. He told police that his bike had been struck by the Hans' car and that he responded by hitting the driver's-side mirror out of anger and self-defense, charging paperwork said.

Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said that because Olson has no prior criminal history he faces up to 90 days in jail if he's convicted.

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