Updated: 7:42 AM PDT, March 29, 2021
A mountain biker was ‘riding up’ a trail in the Washington area while a hiker was ‘walking down’ the same trail. A fight ensued, leaving one of the people in the hospital and the other in handcuffs, the sheriff’s department said.
Dake Traphagen, a 69-year-old hiker from Bellingham, and a group of other hikers told officers that there had been an argument over who had the right-of-way on the trail. Traphagen told police the biker attacked him and they wrestled to the ground. He allegedly told them he stabbed the biker with a pocket knife in self-defense, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident took place March 6 on a trail located in Whatcom County, about 115 miles north of Seattle and near the Canadian border. Sheriffs from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office had responded to reports of a group fight and a stabbing, Fox News reported.
Later that day, authorities responded to a home in Bellingham and learned that the 66-year-old caller was the biker who had been allegedly stabbed and suffering from multiple wounds and blood loss, the sheriff’s statement said.
The sheriff’s office said the man was transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries.
When the mountain biker was able to speak, he told officials that he was riding uphill slowly and once he approached the hikers and asked them to move aside, the brawl broke out. He said at that one of the hikers grabbed his handlebars, spun the bike to the ground, and began hitting him. He realized later he was being stabbed rather than punched, investigators said, according to Fox.
The man escaped and fled home, according to the sheriff’s office.
Traphagen’s attorney, Angela Anderson, told Fox News that her client “has a very strong self-defense claim.”
“Unlike the victim, he remained at the scene and cooperated with law enforcement. My client is a 69-year-old man who cares about his community, volunteers often, and has no history of violence or aggression. We ask that people refrain from judgment and let the truth come out through the court process.”
Court records show Traphagen’s bond was set at $1,000, Fox reported.