Bicyclist shoves 70-year-old man into Bellingham street

by: Deborah Horne Updated:


BELLINGHAM, Wash. - William McCallum bears the injuries from an altercation with a bicycle that he said happened on Northwest Avenue which has bike lanes on both sides. 

“It's just my elbow here and I'm sure that's where I struck the pavement,” he said.  His neck is sore, too.

McCallum was walking on the sidewalk at about 11:15 a.m. Friday.

“When I saw a man on a bicycle on the sidewalk coming towards me,” he said. “And he got, I would say approximately fifty feet from me and my mind goes blank until I'm looking up and seeing a woman over me, saying that she is a nurse and I'm not to move.”

“Oh, I heard brakes squealing,” said Karen Benthien. “So I didn't actually see him fall.”

Benthien is the nurse who rushed to his aide from her house across the street. 

“So when I saw him on the ground, I went over there to see what I could do,” said Benthien.

Eyewitnesses said the bicyclist shoved McCallum into the path of an oncoming SUV.  The driver told police he nearly ran over the 70-year-old Bellingham native.  

Benthien stayed with McCallum until medics arrived.

“Talked to him a little bit,” she said.  “Made sure he was oriented.”

Police searched the area for the bicyclist, but could not find him. He is described as white, in his 30s, with dark hair, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, riding a black Diamondback mountain bike with red handlebars and wheels. He wore a dark backpack, a black cap with a white emblem, a dark T-shirt and khaki cargo pants.

A person snapped a picture of the man Bellingham police said pushed McCallum.

McCallum said they never exchanged words.  He said he was surprised by what happened.   “You know the violent nature of it.”   

 McCallum said he doesn't know whether he has seen that bicyclist before.  He knows only that he is lucky, he wasn't more seriously hurt.

“I might have either been seriously injured,” he said. “Or killed.”

KIRO 7 asked McCallum if he thinks bicyclists should be licensed so they can more easily be found.  He said he had to get a license for his bicycle when he was a growing up in Bellingham in the 1950s.  But he is not it could easily be enforced now.

Anyone with information about the incident or the identity of the bicyclist is urged to call 911 or the What-Comm dispatch center non-emergency line at 360-676-6911.