Bicyclist sues Bellingham, saying arrest violated rights

It happened after he complained about a parking enforcement officer who blocked a bike lane.

  • By Wire Service
  • Monday, December 23, 2019 12:58pm
  • Northwest

Associated Press

SEATTLE — A bicyclist is suing the city of Bellingham, saying he was arrested for trying to complain about a parking enforcement officer who blocked a bike lane.

David Morales filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday. He said he was riding in the bike lane on North State Street in January 2017 when he came upon the parking enforcement officer’s vehicle.

He rapped on the window to try to ask her not to park in the bike lane because it endangers cyclists. She refused to roll it down, and he rode off, he said.

Two days later, as he was riding at about the same time of day and the same location, Bellingham police officer Joshua Danke pulled him over. The lawsuit said two other police vehicles also arrived, and the same parking enforcement officer was nearby.

Morales says Danke arrested him and then drove him around town for about an hour. The lawsuit says that forced Morales to spend two nights in jail: He missed the Friday afternoon court calendar and didn’t have another chance to appear before a judge and post bail until Sunday.

“Defendant Danke took all steps necessary to insure Plaintiff would be forced to spend two days in jail before appearing before a judge,” the lawsuit said.

The charge against Danke, intimidating a public servant, was later dismissed.

The assistant city attorney representing Bellingham did not immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.

The lawsuit names the city and the officers involved as defendants. It alleges the arrest violated Morales’ constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Washington state license plates prices increase July 1

The price of a new plate will rise from $10 to $50, and replacing a lost plate will increase from $10 to $30.

Hundreds gather to listen to a lineup of guest speakers during Snohomish County’s “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally Saturday, May 14, 2022, outside the county courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

The decision is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

FILE - In this photo provided by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, a crane and boats are anchored next to a collapsed "net pen" used by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to farm Atlantic Salmon near Cypress Island in Washington state on Aug. 28, 2017, after a failure of the nets allowed tens of thousands of the nonnative fish to escape. A Washington state jury on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of the net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised, an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. (David Bergvall/Washington State Department of Natural Resources via AP, File)
Jury awards $595,000 to Lummi tribe for salmon pen collapse

The tribe sued, saying the pen owner had not reimbursed the tribal government for its clean up effort.

FILE - Alaska Airlines planes are parked at gates with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise, on March 1, 2021, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. A union has reached a deal Wednesday, June 22, 2022, with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines for a two-year contract extension that provides substantial raises for 5,300 gate agents, stores personnel and office staff, as well as for ramp workers who load cargo. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Alaska Airlines reaches contract deal with some workers

Raises for gate agents, stores personnel, office staff, as well as ramp workers who load cargo.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle facing $117 million revenue shortfall in 2023

The city’s budget chief says there’s no easy way to bridge the gap.

A view from the lower undeveloped part of the Flowery Trail neighborhood looking at spots where slash piles have been burned - outside Chewelah, Wash. (Erick Doxey / InvestigateWest)
Growing sprawl in state’s woods comes with high wildfire risk

Policymakers and homeowners are scrambling to manage the so-called “wildland-urban interface” to mitigate the threat.

The kids thought it was milk. It was actually floor sealant

In Juneau, containers of the chemical were stacked on the same pallet as boxes containing pouches of milk.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Initiative to change Seattle elections heads toward ballot

The initiative would alter the way Seattle elects mayors, city attorneys and City Council members.

Lynnwood
Lynnwood climber supports first all-Black Mount Everest summit bid

Fred Campbell was part of the historic expedition, but got sick and had to turn back before the submit.

The A.J. Eisenberg Airport in Oak Harbor. (Karina Andrew / Whidbey News-Times)
Local pilot plans to buy Whidbey Island airport

Robert DeLaurentis, known as the “Zen Pilot,” submitted a letter of intent to purchase the A.J. Eisenberg Airport.

FILE - Romance writer Nancy Crampton Brophy, left, accused of killing her husband, Dan Brophy, in June 2018, watches proceedings in court in Portland, Ore., on April 4, 2022. She was sentenced Monday, June 13, 2022, to life in prison with the possibility of parole for murdering her husband. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP, Pool, File)
Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ gets life in prison

A self-published romance novelist was sentenced after a seven-week trial for her husband’s murder.