Erlin Garcia-Reyes, the man prosecutors say is responsible for the hit-and-run death of Seattle photographer and bicyclist Michael Wang, pleaded not guilty today to the charges against him in King County Superior Court. According to accounts of the court appearance, Garcia-Reyes was ordered held on $500,000 bail and placed on a detainer requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, just in case he manages to scrounge up the money.
Garcia-Reyes was represented by an attorney, but no family or friends showed up to support him at Thursday's court hearing.
As previously noted on Daily Weekly, after a months-long investigation Garcia-Reyes was officially charged June 10 with the accident that took Wang's life.
Charging documents filed in the case describe the crime:
On Thursday, July 28, 2011, at approximately 3:44 p.m., the defendant, Erlin Garcia-Reyes, was driving his Chevy Suburban to his job. He turned left in front of an on-coming bicyclist who was unable to slow or stop sufficiently and struck the side of the defendant's vehicle.
The bicyclist, 44yO Michael Wang, came off the bike and ended up under the defendant's vehicle, which then paused and appears to have driven over his chest causing catastrophic crushing injuries. The defendant did not exit his SUV or provide any information or aid to Mr. Wang. He was seen speeding away. Mr. Wang was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m.
Ironically, while preparing to contact Garcia-Reyes about Wang's death after receiving a tip that he was involved in the crime, investigators learned he had already been arrested and was in custody for a completely separate hit-and-run crime involving a Seattle-area business that occurred in early June of this year.
The suspected vehicle in the hit-and-run death of Michael Wang
More from charging documents:
On 6/2/2012, he was cited and has pending speeding/no liability insurance in Pierce Co. The next day, another man drove the defendant's SUV into the front door of a business on Greenwood Ave. N. and N. 105th in Seattle. The defendant was seen on security camera getting into the driver's seat and fleeing the scene without giving the property owner any information. He abandoned this SUV nearby and called the police to falsely report the SUV stolen. Those charges are outstanding.
A native of Honduras, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) requested the retainer on Garcia-Reyes earlier this month, suspecting he has violated immigration law.