Bothell police at the scene where they arrested Eli Aldinger, who purposefully hit pedestrians on April 20, 2018. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. File photo courtesy of Bothell Police Department

Bothell police at the scene where they arrested Eli Aldinger, who purposefully hit pedestrians on April 20, 2018. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. File photo courtesy of Bothell Police Department

Driver who intentionally hit Bothell pedestrians given jail time

Striking two with Camry leads to 14-year sentence.

On May 31, a driver who ran his car into two pedestrians walking in downtown Bothell was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The driver, Eli Aldinger, pled guilty to the charges of assault in the first degree and two counts of assault in the second degree.

According to court documents, on April 20, 2018, Aldinger admitted to intentionally striking pedestrians with his Toyota Camry at two different intersections — one of which he said he intentionally sped up to hit as the victim crossed the street. 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 vocalized 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 Northeast, Aldinger sped his car up from 20 mph to what he thought was 35-40 mph in order to hit the female victim, according to the probable cause report.

Police asked Aldinger if he did this to cause more injury. He responded that “it was just so that he could hit her before she made it across the road,” and expressed that 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 then in 2018 that he was looking forward to “spending a few years in a room.”

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