WangSuspectVehicleMug.jpg
The suspected vehicle in the hit-and-run death of Michael Wang
As was officially announced yesterday, 28-year-old Erlin Garcia-Reyes was arrested Wednesday in connection with the

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After Arrest of Erlin Garcia-Reyes in Death of Cyclist Michael Wang, ICE Gets In on the Action

WangSuspectVehicleMug.jpg
The suspected vehicle in the hit-and-run death of Michael Wang
As was officially announced yesterday, 28-year-old Erlin Garcia-Reyes was arrested Wednesday in connection with the hit and run death of bicyclist Michael Wang, who was struck by an SUV in South Lake Union back in July of 2011. According to Seattle Police, Garcia-Reyes admitted to the crime during an interview with investigators earlier this week.

Now, according to reports from KIRO 97.3 FM, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) has requested a retainer on Garcia-Reyes, suspecting the alleged driver of the SUV that killed Wang and left Seattle's bicycling community reeling is has violated immigration law.

From KIRO:

A spokesperson for the Seattle division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told 97.3 KIRO FM Friday that they have requested Reyes be transferred into their custody once released from the King County Jail.

Although his immigration status was not immediately known, the spokesperson said they have reason to believe Garcia-Reyes is in violation of an immigration law.

Seattle Times has reported Garcia-Reyes is a native of Honduras and has been in this country for five years.

As noted above, the death of Wang, a father of two and avid photographer and bicyclist, struck a chord within the community. Wang worked for the global health non-profit PATH, and was a member of the Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle. Both organizations applauded Wednesday's break in the case in a statement released by the Seattle Police Department:

On July 28th, 2011 at approximately 3:44 p.m. an unknown suspect driving an SUV was travelling south on Dexter Avenue North made a left turn onto Thomas Street and struck an adult male bicyclist who was travelling north on Dexter Avenue North in the bike lane. The suspect fled the scene immediately following the collision and the cyclist died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the collision.

On June 6th, 2012 at approximately 12:00 Noon Seattle Police Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) detectives interviewed the suspect/driver in the collision who confessed to the hit & run.

Following the interview the 28-year-old male suspect was placed under arrest for Investigation of Felony Hit & Run and booked into the King County Jail.

"The Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle (TAGS) is very happy to learn of the recent arrest of this suspect. Michael Wang was a TAGS member. He will be greatly missed. Michael's father William is still very active in our organization and was instrumental in leveraging continued attention to this case. From this incident we have confidence in the American judicial system. We hope that the suspect receives a proper sentence and that this will bring some level of closure to Michael's family," said TAGS board member John Chou.

Amy MacIver, the Director of Media Relations at PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), said, "On behalf of Mike Wang's fellow coworkers at PATH, it is our sincere hope the arrest in this case of the tragic death of our friend will lead to some sense of justice and closure for his children, his wife, his family, friends, and for the people and communities here and around the world whose stories he told through his wonderful photography. We thank the Seattle community for its generous support of Mike's family, the Seattle Police Department for their ongoing efforts over the past 10 months to solve this difficult and tragic case, and Mayor McGinn and his team for their steady focus on improving road safety for everyone."

"We applaud the Seattle Police Department for its persistent detective work in this case," said Chuck Ayers, executive director of the Cascade Bicycle Club. "All of us -- whether we are out walking, driving or bicycling to get around -- are just trying get where we need to go, safely and efficiently. It is every person's shared responsibility to watch out for one other on the roads. Put down the phone. Unplug your ears. Obey the laws. Slow down and -- most of all -- look where you are going. No one wants to be on either side of a tragic collision that you could have prevented."

This remains an active and on-going TCIS investigation.

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