Bothell police at the scene where they arrested Eli Aldinger, who purposefully hit pedestrians on April 20, 2018. (Bothell Police Department, file)

Bothell police at the scene where they arrested Eli Aldinger, who purposefully hit pedestrians on April 20, 2018. (Bothell Police Department, file)

Driver who purposely hit Bothell pedestrians given 14 years

The assaults were a way for the man to “get out of going to work,” he told officers.

By Ashley Hiruko

Bothell Kemore Reporter

BOTHELL — A man who drove his car into two pedestrians walking in downtown Bothell has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Eli Aldinger, 23, of Snohomish, pleaded guilty to the charges of first- and second-degree assault. He was sentenced in King County Superior Court May 31.

According to court documents, Aldinger admitted to intentionally striking pedestrians with his Toyota Camry at two different intersections on April 20, 2018.

He sped up to hit one victim as she crossed the street, according to court papers. In the case of the second victim, he said he swerved to hit her.

The assaults were a way for Aldinger to “get out of going to work,” he told officers. He said he was unhappy with his life of food service work at McMenamins Anderson School and the direction his life had taken.

As a woman and her husband crossed the intersection of Main Street and 101st Avenue NE, Aldinger sped his car up from 20 mph to what he thought was 35 to 40 mph, court papers said.

Police asked the driver if he did this to cause more injury. He said he sped up “so that he could hit her before she made it across the road,” court papers said. He said he believed the victim had, at most, some broken bones.

Aldinger continued westbound on Main Street and swerved to strike another pedestrian. He thought he had swiped a third pedestrian but in fact had not.

When he turned toward McMenamins, headed northbound, a man was in his path. Aldinger said he decided to slow down because he had already struck three people and believed it was “a bit excessive.”

That’s when he saw police and stopped. Aldinger told the officer in 2018 that he was looking forward to “spending a few years in a room.”

This story originally appeared in the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, a sibling paper to the Herald.

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