D.C. truck owner wanted in connection with bike collision turns himself in

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A D.C. vehicle owner who was wanted in connection with a videotaped collision involving a cyclist in August turned himself in Friday after learning this week there was a bench warrant for his arrest.

The case against John W. Diehl, a retired Metropolitan Police Department officer, has stalled for several months as authorities were apparently unable to serve him a judicial summons ordering him to show up for court.

Mr. Diehl, of Northeast, turned himself in this week after he was contacted by a reporter with The Washington Times — on the phone number listed in court records for the case — and informed of the warrant.

“I called and they came and picked me up and we went down to the courthouse and they served me some papers,” Mr. Diehl, 56, said Friday.

The case stems from a crash that highlighted tension between drivers and cyclists who share city roads after a video of the collision was posted online. Cyclist Evan Wilder, of Mount Rainier, filmed the Aug. 31 crash from his helmet-mounted video camera.

The video shows a driver yelling out of his truck’s passenger-side window at the cyclist as he rides down Rhode Island Avenue Northeast. The driver appears to swerve toward Mr. Wilder, who tumbles to the road.

According to court documents filed in D.C. Superior Court in the case, a bench warrant was issued for Mr. Diehl, the registered owner of the Toyota Tacoma truck, after police tracked the truck’s license plate number from Mr. Wilder’s video.

Court records show a hearing is now scheduled for July 2 in the case.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Friday that prosecutors are continuing to investigate the case and that no charges have been filed.

A spokesman for the D.C. attorney general said Mr. Diehl will be formally charged when he appears in court with leaving the scene after a collision causing personal injury and leaving the scene after a collision causing property damage.

“I’m going to have to wait and see what happens,” said Mr. Diehl, who denied being involved in the collision or knowing that there was a warrant out for him.

When interviewed by a police officer about two weeks after the crash, Mr. Diehl similarly denied knowledge of it, according to court records. The investigating officer noted that Mr. Diehl’s truck appeared to have a small dent on the rear passenger-side fender.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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