Bicyclist shoves 70-year-old man into road in Bellingham

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BELLINGHAM -- Police are looking for a bicyclist who shoved a 70-year-old Bellingham man into traffic Friday morning, where he hit his head and nearly got run over by an SUV.

Steve Hicks, the driver of the oncoming SUV, said the bicyclist approached the man from behind at 11:20 a.m. on Northwest Avenue, near Illinois Street. Then he shoved him into the street. The man's head hit the asphalt.

"I would have run him over if I'd been a second faster," Hicks said. "I was thinking I should chase down the bike, but I was calling 911 for medics."

The victim he responded to firefighters' questions as they loaded him into an ambulance bound for St. Joseph hospital. He didn't appear to have any fractures, said Bellingham Police Sgt. Ken Brown.

Earlier in the day, the victim told police, he had seen a cyclist riding on the sidewalk in the same general area. He told the bike rider he should probably ride in the bike lane. The 70-year-old man wasn't sure, however, if that bicyclist and his assailant were the same man.

Officers searched the neighborhood for a white man with dark hair, about 5-foot-8, riding a black Diamondback mountain bike with red handlebars and wheels. He appeared to be in his 30s, with a day's growth of beard. He wore a dark backpack, a black cap with a white emblem, a dark T-shirt and khaki cargo pants.

The cyclist hesitated before taking off southbound on Northwest, and at least one witness snapped photos.