More than a year after a charge was filed, there’s a verdict in the case of a woman charged with assault for deliberately driving her car into a co-chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. According to court files, King County Superior Court jury has found 38-year-old Erika Soerensen guilty of second-degree assault against 33-year-old Jake Vanderplas. After two days of deliberations, jurors reached the verdict this past Wednesday, two weeks after proceedings began with pre-trial motions.
The assault happened near 26th SW/SW Andover on July 8, 2013, and first came to light later that day in a letter by Vanderplas, sent to and published by Seattle Bike Blog later that day. Police found Soerensen six days later, slowed by the fact it had a California plate but had been sold to her a few months earlier; prosecutors charged her in October with second-degree assault, of which she has now been found guilty.
The investigation indicated that Soerensen had first passed Vanderplas “at a high rate of speed” while northbound on 26th SW, a neighborhood-greenway street; he then passed her, and after following him at 20 mph for several blocks, repeatedly honking her horn, she swerved into Vanderplas, who suffered a hand injury, and then she drove away; police tracked her down about a week later. As noted in charging documents, her 2002 Nissan Sentra “has a curb weight of 2,519 pounds” while Vanderplas’s 2007 Schwinn LeTour bicycle weighs about 30 pounds.
Her sentencing is set for January 9th, in the courtroom of Judge Regina Cahan, who presided over the trial. The standard range for that crime is three to nine months’ imprisonment.