Slog: Etherly makes plea deal on hit-and-run charges

Screen capture from dashboard video of Etherly's arrest

Screen capture from dashboard video of Etherly’s arrest

Leo Etherly has reached a plea deal regarding the hit and run that preceded his now-infamous October arrest.

After the county declined to press charges against Etherly, the city charged him with striking a woman on a bike at 29th and Jefferson, then fleeing the scene.

Slog reports that Etherly has reached a deal that would allow him to avoid serious penalties beyond payment of restitution to the victim and 48 hours of community service if he stays out of trouble for two years:

Etherly accepted a dispositional continuance deal, meaning that if he has no new criminal violations in the next two years, pays restitution to the hit-and-run victim, completes 48 hours of community service, pledges to drive with a valid license and insurance, completes a drug and alcohol class, and pays a fine of $145, after two years the driving with a suspended license charge will be dismissed and the hit-and-run bicyclist will be reduced to a hit-and-run unattended (meaning, instead of being charged for hitting a person and fleeing the scene, he’ll be charged with hitting a bicycle and fleeing the scene. The latter charge is a simple misdemeanor rather than a gross misdemeanor and won’t result in the loss of his license).

Officers investigating that hit-and-run stopped Etherly in the parking lot near the 23rd and Union liquor store because his vehicle fit the description. When Etherly was disagreeable with officers, they placed him under arrest. During the arrest, one officer struck him in the face, causing a gash.

Several people who gathered to watch the arrest were upset by what they saw and contacted CDNews about it. When video was released, people and groups—including the Seattle-King County NAACP—organized protests against police brutality.

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