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Three enter guilty pleas for assault on 72-year-old bicyclist

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
November 30, 2011 5:38 pm

Ron Wingerson stood in court today and faced one of the men who leaned out of a moving car and repeatedly punched the 72-year-old bicyclist until he fell on a Puyallup road and blacked out.

Four months after the attack, the three young adults inside the car have pleaded guilty to third-degree assault.

Kyle Baker, 21, pleaded guilty Nov. 18 and was released from jail after receiving credit for time served. Kendall Williams, 21, entered her plea today and was given credit for the 14 days she has already spent in jail.

Both are first-time offenders.

Cory Romero, 21, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and tampering with a witness. He was sentenced to six months in jail.

Williams was driving a sedan July 2 when Romero and Baker began yelling obscenities at the bicyclist and leaning out the window to attack him from the moving car, according to charging documents.

Wingerson suffered six broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and several abrasions. He was hospitalized after an off-duty firefighter found him lying unconscious in the road.

Wingerson was an avid bicyclist. He was pedaling from his Lake Tapps home to an Orting trailhead to train for an organized ride when Williams’ sedan approached him from behind in the 12800 block of Pioneer Way East.

The vehicle was going about 55 mph. Williams told police she couldn’t move over because of oncoming traffic and she knew her passengers made contact with the bicyclist but didn’t see Wingerson fall.

“It was such a senseless act,” Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Maureen Goodman said. “Mr. Wingerson was such an innocent victim. He was just riding down the road.”

Romero, who was dating Williams at the time of the assault, was charged with witness tampering after threatening Williams if she told officers they had been involved in the attack.

Wingerson spoke in court today to tell Romero and Williams how much the attack has impacted his family and his life, Goodman said.

Romero apologized and asked for forgiveness.

All three defendants were ordered to attend a drug treatment program.

Williams has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence in an unrelated case.

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