The Washington Post

Man guilty of assaulting bicyclist

A D.C. Superior Court jury Tuesday found a District motorist guilty of assaulting a bicyclist with his vehicle and fists during an 2010 altercation.

The jury found Thomas Dunkel, 62, guilty of multiple assault charges including assault with a dangerous weapon in the July 27, 2010 incident . Prosecutors said Dunkel became outraged at the bicyclist and struck the biker with his SUV and then punched him.

According to prosecutors, Dunkel was driving his Toyota SUV in the 100 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW, near Union Station, when he encountered a 22-year-old bicyclist who was driving his bike down the middle of the road. Dunkel began honking his horn and yelling at the cyclist to move. He then, prosecutors said, struck the cyclist with his SUV. After the cyclist moved his bike out of the road to the sidewalk, the two began arguing and fighting. At one point, prosecutors said, Dunkel grabbed the bike and threw it at the cyclist. Dunkel then began punching the cyclist again, knocking him to the ground with his fists before bystanders intervened.

The cyclist required surgery to have a skin graft taken from his thigh and transplanted to his foot, prosecutors said.

Dunkel is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5 by Judge Gerald I. Fisher.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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