VIDEO: Vehicular homicide suspect pleads not guilty to hitting and killing bicyclist Robb Mason

At a short King County Superior Court hearing this morning, the West Seattle man charged in the July hit-run death of bicyclist Robb Mason pleaded not guilty.

The judge agreed to prosecutors’ request for electronic home monitoring of 20-year-old defendant Mohamed A. Yusuf, and the defense did not object. He is charged with vehicular homicide and felony hit-run, accused of hitting Mr. Mason at a speed past 50 mph on Spokane Street while the 63-year-old victim was riding his bike home just east of the low bridge. Yusuf did not address the court; Mr. Mason’s widow Claudia Mason was in the courtroom and did speak to Judge Karen Donohue during the hearing – here’s what she told media outside the courtroom afterward:

Before she spoke to reporters, a sobbing supporter hugged her in the hallway, lamenting that “the law is not fair,” allowing the defendant to remain out of custody. The judge, in response to Ms. Mason, had contended that being under electronic home monitoring means he is in custody. In the charging documents, as we first reported last Wednesday, police say they identified Yusuf as the suspect through “scrupulous detective work” including evidence such as car debris at the scene and video from a Metro bus, and evidence gathered once he was charged included his online/phone activity, some of which involved searches, links, and messages related to the case. He is due back in court next month.

64 Replies to "VIDEO: Vehicular homicide suspect pleads not guilty to hitting and killing bicyclist Robb Mason"

  • flimflam January 9, 2023 (11:10 am)

    No, he’s NOT in custody regardless of how the judge spins it – he’ll comfortably at home, playing video games, eating whatever, whenever, etc…it’s very hard to understand the level of concern and care given to criminals. I’m not suggest they be treated with undue harshness but the excess leniency is weird. especially when a death is involved.

    • J January 9, 2023 (12:14 pm)

      We live in a society where people are innocent until proven guilty. People are not criminals until our system of justice deems them so. Sometimes the system is right, sometimes it’s wrong,  it sucks but it’s better than angry mobs dragging an innocent person through the streets because they think they have the culprit.

      • Kush January 9, 2023 (1:27 pm)

        a pretty good case can be made for no bail due to safety of society at large……. considering the allegations of targeting of cyclists while high on Marijuana and going 55 mph, then fleeing the scene……

        • K January 9, 2023 (8:10 pm)

          Not really.  No history of similar behavior, no reason to believe he’d do it again, especially with monitoring.  If the county can save the taxpayers money by keeping tabs on a man that is, again, innocent in the eyes of the law, from home, they’re going to do so.

        • alki_2008 January 9, 2023 (9:34 pm)

          Based on his crime and history, he is dangerous when driving a car, which he presumably is not able to do when confined to his house. He will get his day(s) in court and can be confined to prison after a guilty verdict and sentencing. That’s how the justice system works. If you don’t like that, then change the system.

      • flimflam January 9, 2023 (1:31 pm)

        Yes but there was clearly an option for holding him in custody rather than let him hang out at home.

      • Charles Krefting January 10, 2023 (7:03 am)

        “We live in a society where people are innocent until proven guilty. People are not criminals until our system of justice deems them so. Sometimes the system is right, sometimes it’s wrong,  it sucks but it’s better than angry mobs dragging an innocent person through the streets because they think they have the culprit.”

        Isn’t that what Twitter’s for?

    • brian January 9, 2023 (7:28 pm)

      Hold up. They’re just letting him eat whatever he wants? The heck?

      • WS Res January 10, 2023 (11:59 am)

        What on earth are you talking about – “eating whatever he wants” – ?

    • Thomas January 9, 2023 (8:26 pm)

      Electronic monitoring is a joke! How many times have we seen criminals cut the monitors off and go out and commit new crimes. If he had turned himself in .I might feel different. But he didn’t If he’s going to be sent home,then he needs needs to be fitted with leg irons and a orange jumpsuit.

    • Idaho January 9, 2023 (10:17 pm)

      Would the Idaho killer be viewed in your eyes the same? 

  • shotinthefoot January 9, 2023 (11:19 am)

    This kid should be miserable and rotting in county jail until his trial. Absolutely unconscionable that the judge is letting him sit at home, smoking weed and watching Netflix. I am sure Judge Donahue is one of the many judges who ran unopposed, so there is no justice to be had there, either. One can only hope at sentencing that Yusif never sees the outside as a free man again. Shame on the judge and lawyers for agreeing to this! 

  • anonyme January 9, 2023 (11:25 am)

    So, Mr. Yusuf continues to lie and deny.  Given the length and breadth of the investigation, the chances of his innocence are minuscule.  His sociopathic behavior is (hopefully) about to catch up with him, and I can only hope that the judgment is swift and severe.   Mr. Robb’s family has suffered long enough.

    • waikikigirl January 9, 2023 (3:48 pm)

      He is not lying or denying, he is pleading what his lawyer has told him to do. Now we just have to hope and pray that the Prosecutor does what they’re supposed to and he will get the sentence he deserves and will be locked up for a very long time.

      • WSresident January 9, 2023 (6:35 pm)

        Spin it as you will. This person killed someone’s in a hit and run, and lied saying he’s not guilty, regardless of who told him to or not to. He is lying. 

      • anonyme January 10, 2023 (5:31 am)

        He lied and denied for many months before having a lawyer, and now he is continuing that pattern.  A lie does not become truth merely because a lawyer directs you to say it.  It’s outrageous that he is still free.  Idaho (commenter above) made a good point: murder is murder, and can anyone imagine the Idaho killer being released to home monitoring?  Why is murder with a vehicle different than murder with any other weapon?

      • Lynn January 10, 2023 (1:42 pm)

        If his lawyer tells him to plead not guilty, and he clearly know he was the one that killed Robb on the road that day, then it is a lie. If you kill someone, and you know it, yet you don’t own it and you claim otherwise, requester by lawyer or not, that is a bare faced LIE.

    • Josh January 9, 2023 (5:16 pm)

      Even if he is found guilty it will be for vehicular manslaughter and will likely end up with little jail time.  You can kill people with your car and have shockingly little justice brought upon you.

  • Del January 9, 2023 (11:40 am)

    As someone who has the daily reminder about a hit and run death in front of my home near where this happened: Speeding kills and reckless driving needs to be addressed in West Seattle instead of scooped under the rug. I hope you get justice Claudia Mason and resolution to this tragedy. No words can express how horrible a hit and run is, and having a speeding vehicle take away a life is unimaginable.  My condolences for your loss Claudia. 

  • wscommuter January 9, 2023 (12:10 pm)

    Assuming he is convicted, he’ll be spending a few years in prison – the “real” custody is coming.  Although KCPO likely can’t prove intoxication as an aggravating factor, even on straightforward vehicular homicide, he will spend time in prison (not enough in my view – the legislature should revisit the sentencing ranges on vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, but that’s a discussion for another day).  

    • Jort January 9, 2023 (12:52 pm)

      It should be a discussion for this day. We, as a society, have chosen to place the bulk of road safety mitigations in the category of “personal responsibility,” unlike other governments that “design-out” dangerous driving and societal automobile dependency.  I disagree with America’s singular approach, but because we intentionally chose (and continue to choose) to use the law as very nearly the only safety mechanism to curtail dangerous driving, then the law needs to reflect the seriousness of the public health crisis caused by dangerous driving in America. We can balance the historically inequitable enforcement of law through automated traffic enforcement, tied to the registration of the vehicle, with escalating fines and eventual vehicle impounding based on number of infractions. This is a conversation our lawmakers should be having right now, not just virtue signaling on “Vision Zero” garbage. Driver behavior in America is literally out of control. It is time to wrest that control back in favor of public health either through design changes or through blanket automated enforcement using widely and easily available technology.  One way or another, the speeding must STOP.

      • Paul January 9, 2023 (1:25 pm)

        Agreed on speeding needs to stop, but remember we are down, what 400 plus officers, so they really don’t have the bandwidth to enforce speeding these days.  Its truly a sad situation.  On my street, a main thoroughfare people go 50MPH regularly because they know there are no police to enforce speeders.  

        • WestSeattleBadTakes January 9, 2023 (3:17 pm)

          The road should be designed to not allow them to do 50MPH.

        • Jort January 9, 2023 (3:22 pm)

          That is why I strongly encourage our lawmakers to take seriously this threat and mandate automated speeding cameras on city streets and state highways, and (this is critical), that the fines for the speeding (like parking tickets) be tied to the vehicle’s registered owner so as to prevent people from using the “but it wasn’t me driving the car *wink* *wink*” perjury loophole that currently exists for people to get out of red light and speed cameras. This also must be accompanied with a strict zero-tolerance policy on deliberate license plate concealment. These are not complicated solutions, they merely take political courage. However, I do understand that this would be politically challenging, as currently people (including politicians!) view speeding their cars as enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and feel it’s OK to do it *as long as you don’t get caught.* If nobody is doing the “catching” anymore, then, well, you can see where we might have some problems, which are becoming increasingly self-evident as speeding enforcement drops and road deaths increase. If our politicians actually care about street safety, then it is time to get the police out of the way and just start printing out mandatory tickets across the board. Print ’em, mail ’em, pay ’em, or lose the car, permanently. Or, slow down. Also an option.

          • skeeter January 9, 2023 (4:32 pm)

            Jort concludes:  “Print ’em, mail ’em, pay ’em, or lose the car, permanently.”I don’t disagree, Jort.  But I will tell you why Seattle doesn’t take this approach.  Because the people losing the car most often will be poor people.  Poor people don’t have the ability to pay even a small fine or penalty for dangerous driving.  Are you willing to take away the car of a poor person?  The city is not.   

          • 937 January 9, 2023 (4:39 pm)

            The political powers that be in the state of Washington are (and have been) left leaning and are on a path to continue and buttress the gains the left (progressive and otherwise) have gained over the years. The metroplex of Seattle/King County and their sister counties of Snohomish and Pierce are marching to the drum of less cars, more transit, red light enforcement etc. So my simple question to you Jort (and others like you) “Why hasn’t it been done?”

            “You” have the legislature, you have the Executive and you have the Courts. It seems like this would be an easy accomplishment. Again, my question is why hasn’t it been?  

          • Jort January 9, 2023 (11:05 pm)

            Automobiles in America are what as known as a “monoculture.” Their supremacy in nearly every single facet of American life is not an exaggeration, it’s a reality and it’s something deeply woven into the politics of both the left and the right in this country. “Nothing” gets done because this culture is so pervasive and our minds make so many excuses for it that there is literally zero political constituency to address it, even though it is one of the greatest killers in America. I sure wish our local “progressive” leaders we’re “beating the drum” for fewer cars, because they’re doing literally nothing to reduce car ownership in Seattle.

          • WestSeattleBadTakes January 9, 2023 (5:58 pm)

            I agree with Skeeter here. This is solvable though, if we can ensure public transportation, biking, zoning changes (think 15 minute city) allow someone to support themselves (get to work, etc) automated enforcement is viable.

            Of course you can have sliding scales for fines but just taking away someones car can be pretty devastating if they aren’t well off.

          • Al King January 9, 2023 (6:16 pm)

            Skeeter. Jort’s “out there” idea’s(?) are fun to read but certainly have no bearing on the real world. I’m betting there isn’t a pent-up demand to have cameras watching and recording you every second your outside. Who wants to be tracked? Any volunteers??

          • my two cents January 9, 2023 (7:22 pm)

            Jort – why not mandate the power of the vehicles on the road compared to your surveillance state dystopia vision you have?

          • Jort January 9, 2023 (11:01 pm)

            This technology exists and Europe is implementing it in all new vehicles. It notifies drivers that they’re speeding. Someday it will likely force the car to slow down. Hopefully it comes to America, too. These are not complicated solutions. They’re simple, because the deadly crime is simple, too. Slow people down.  By whatever means are necessary. Speeding isn’t your right. It’s a crime. Slow down. 

          • tim January 9, 2023 (7:59 pm)

            But how do you ticket cars that have no license plates? Seems like every third car around here has no plate, or it’s covered, or it’s an unreadable card in the window.

          • Rhonda January 10, 2023 (12:27 am)

            State and federal law requires moving violations that go against points on a driver’s license be issued IN PERSON by a sworn law enforcement officer. Automated red light, school zone speed, and bus lane camera citations are NOT considered moving violations and are issued/collected like parking tickets. However, vehicles cannot be impounded for failure to pay. Violators can only be taken to collections. Municipalities can request vehicle registrations of offenders not be renewed until payments are made, but it’s becoming increasingly easy for one to drive without current registration tabs. We don’t live in the type of surveillance society you are proposing (thank God) and the VAST majority of Americans do not wish to.

          • S - In West Seattle January 10, 2023 (6:13 am)

            I seem to recall Seattle Police getting a grant to put in cameras throughout the City and they did so here in West Seattle, but people freaked out over them and the City tore them down.  

          • WSB January 10, 2023 (11:45 am)

            No, that’s not what happened; we covered it here extensively a decade ago. The city got a federal grant for cameras described publicly only as “port security.” They wound up mostly on West Seattle poles nowhere near port facilities, installed without any advance word. Eventually this all led to the revelation that the city had no policies governing its use of surveillance technologies, and that has since changed. Given that people have used commercially available technology to voluntarily install surveillance cameras on many if not most private properties in the years since, this may have been received much differently if it had happened even just five years later … TR

          • anonyme January 10, 2023 (8:23 am)

            Agree with Jort on all points.  One should not be able to walk away from any crime based solely on income, whether rich or poor. If fines are in place, make them on a sliding scale related to income.  If an individual has more to lose due to income status that should be an incentive to obey the law – not the opposite, which is the norm in Seattle.  But as Jort points out, the easy, logical, non-political option would be to build limitations into the vehicle itself.  Humans are too irrational to be relied on to make wise choices.

          • j-roam January 10, 2023 (11:15 pm)

            @Rhonda: Vehicles can be impounded for failure to pay parking tickets, and Seattle does so.


          • Jort January 11, 2023 (8:05 am)

            Rhonda, thanks for helping to clarify what I’m asking state lawmakers to change. I’m not asking for “moving violations” that “go against points on a drivers license.” I am asking for automated dispensing of penalties, tied irrevocably to vehicle registration, for those who make the choice to violate the law by speeding, much like those who violate the law by overstaying their limits on parking on public streets. Most people are opposed to these measures, of course, because they actually enjoy and feel it is their god-given right to speed in their car, so terms are thrown around like “surveillance state” in a disturbing effort to absolve oneself of their law-breaking nature. We’ve trusted drivers to “do the right thing” in following the law, and the overwhelming majority of drivers do not, resulting directly in the death of citizens like Robb Mason. The benefit of the doubt is gone, the responsibility needs to begin, and people should be paying ever-escalating amounts until it gets through their heads that you. will. not. speed. Every single driver on the road is capable of staying under the speed limit. It is time to force them to do so without exception, or they can stop driving, permanently.

      • Jeepney January 9, 2023 (2:10 pm)

        wscommuter, I have seen you comment on legal matters before, so I trust what you say is due to background in law.  Hopefully if the suspect is found guilty they will serve time, but It won’t be enough.  I rarely am in agreement with Jort, but I agree 100% with them on this post.   The current climate on the roads today is one of rage, inattentiveness and aggression.  It has literally been years since I have seen SPD traffic enforcement on the roads, and many reckless drivers have taken advantage of that.

        • Al King January 9, 2023 (3:27 pm)

          Jeepney. Are you a “perfect” driver? If you’re stopped by police will you say “yep, i broke the law and deserve a ticket” 

          • LibertariansAreJustSelfish January 9, 2023 (6:52 pm)

            I’m also curious if Jort  et al are willing to have every moving object in any city right of way (i.e. bicycles included) be registered and require a license, not just identification, to operate. This way any infraction by every right of way user can be assessed fines by use of permanently placed traffic cameras, as well as temporary ones. Let’s see how many of those no hand signal lane changes, equipment deficiencies, cherry-picking of the which rules of the road to follow, and the endless “California roll” scenarios that we can fine. Please recall that rolling through an intersection against the light is only allowed IF there is NO approaching cross traffic. “Print ’em, mail ’em, pay ’em, or lose the conveyance permanently” will become my mantra too if everyone using the road, regardless of conveyance, was equally responsible for their individual behavior(s) while operating in a public right away.

          • Jort January 9, 2023 (11:12 pm)

            Maybe Jeepney doesn’t get pulled over because Jeepney doesn’t speed. Folks should try it sometime!

  • M January 9, 2023 (1:24 pm)

    I wonder if his weapon was a gun or knife instead of a car, if he would be waiting in jail.

  • Mj January 9, 2023 (3:30 pm)

    As seasoned bike rider I see Robb in the mirror and really want to see the perp be made accountable.  From the information the perp was driving recklessly at a speed well in excess of what prudent motorist drive the corridor at, likely was high and failed to remain at the scene of the crime.  Penalties for hit and run motorists need to be harsh.  

    • Reed January 9, 2023 (4:05 pm)

      Finally we agree on something.

  • BirchBay January 9, 2023 (4:44 pm)

    I was there today. I was deeply disturbed by Yusuf’s haughtiness and complete lack of remorse. He returned eye contact with hard stares and cold defiance. Even the full penalty of the law cannot restore Robb to Claudia and the community. I ache for true justice. If only he was remorseful, or ashamed, or… Oh, I am so sad for Claudia. 

    • oerthehill January 9, 2023 (5:56 pm)

      Birchbay, I have to trust karma here and also know, just because we didn’t see remorse as we think we should see it, doesn’t mean this criminal doesn’t have a life long battle to overcome because of his reckless choices. The fact that a person (coward) could even hide for so long after committing something like this to me means he’s his own worst enemy and has a multitude of issues he must face. He may not know it yet, but it will catch up to him.

      • Ts January 9, 2023 (9:22 pm)

        Wish that was true. It is for normal people. After sitting in court in 1994 and seeing a true psychopath fool everyone accept those who happened to have eyes on him at just the right moment and have seen others slowly catch on since, I know it doesn’t always happen. It is easy to see people’s choices and mistakes through our own lens and miss what’s truly there whether it is true remorse or true evil

      • Western Boy January 10, 2023 (6:53 am)

        The only karma I see here is people electing soft-on-crime politicians and then bemoaning soft-on-criminals decisions.

      • anonyme January 10, 2023 (8:52 am)

        Karma is a fantasy, and neither our legal system nor true justice are based upon it.  I see no point in attempting to contort reality in order to credit this individual with either humanity or conscience.  Res ipsa loquitur.

    • Jethro Marx January 9, 2023 (6:07 pm)

      This is heartbreaking, and clearly yours is, yet you speak of “haughtiness” while demanding someone do what you feel they ought to, in deference.

      • BirchBay January 10, 2023 (7:52 am)

        Is remorse not appropriate for having killed someone? And believing it is amounts to equivalent haughtiness? Is this the Twilight Zone? 

        • Jethro Marx January 10, 2023 (10:32 am)

          I am interpreting what you wrote as, “I stared at him in court and wanted him to look back at me in a way that seems appropriate to me. ”  In my fairly mainstream, non-Twilight Zone definition of haughtiness, demanding someone else please you by acting in the way you deem appropriate is included.  As to the case, it is terrible, sad, and unsettling, I agree.

  • Alki resident January 9, 2023 (10:32 pm)

    MOHAMED you killed my friend, a community member, a dedicated and very skilled massage therapist, a husband. He didn’t deserve this and you have left so many people devastated. You belong in JAIL not at home living it up. 

  • Michael Bloom January 10, 2023 (4:29 am)

    Does it still state in the driving test, and in hand book That it is a privilege to drive a motorized vehicle  ?

  • 22blades January 10, 2023 (9:29 am)

    If this defendant isn’t a risk of flight, nobody is. He actively evaded arrest. That’s enough “prior behavior”. Why would theJudge offer & Prosecutors accept this? This system is broken. I’m sure King County the manpower to actually monitor him. /s.

    • WSB January 10, 2023 (11:35 am)

      This isn’t what the judge offered. This is what prosecutors requested, as reported in our original story, which also included their explanation, since I asked that followup after seeing in the charging documents that the charges had been filed on a “summons” basis rather than a “warrant/arrest” basis.

  • StuckInWestSeattle January 10, 2023 (12:37 pm)

    This guy should be in jail with no bail instead of comfortable at home with an ankle bracelet. he is a murderer!

    • Lynn January 10, 2023 (1:39 pm)


  • Lynn January 10, 2023 (1:38 pm)

    To Robb’s widow, family and friends:I grieve alongside with you, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a friend in a hit and run in Burien December 12th. He was 42 and a beloved member of the surfing community. I hope the perp receives a harsh and fitting sentence.

  • Jay January 10, 2023 (2:21 pm)

    It’s a shame that people being killed by vehicles isn’t taken seriously in our culture. The guy was on the run for half a year. It blows my mind that our culture cares so little about road violence that a hit and run killing doesn’t even warrant an arrest.

  • Rhonda January 10, 2023 (2:29 pm)

    He’s luxuriating at home with his weed, his couch, his laptop, video games, porn, junk food, and yucking it up with his buddies. SHAME on this judge for allowing someone who alluded law enforcement and the court system (after killing a beloved man at over twice the speed limit) to do so.

    • Ivan Weiss January 11, 2023 (7:38 am)

      @Rhonda: What kind of nonsense is this? Do you have a surveillance camera in his house or something? And learn to read before you spew, will you please? The judge followed the recommendation of the prosecutors. Maybe your moral dudgeon should be aimed at them. I have no sympathy for this defendant. If he is convicted, I would not be sorry to see him get a long prison sentence. But he is innocent until proven guilty, and we all had better be damned glad that this is our legal system, and not the lynch-mob mentality I see from some in these comment threads.

    • Ivan Weiss January 11, 2023 (10:37 am)

      @Rhonda: Spewing more of your usual nonsense, I see. You don’t have a surveillance camera in his house. You have no idea what he’s doing. The judge followed the recommendation of the prosecutors, as Tracy says above. Maybe you should direct your outrage at them, because I’m sure you imagine you know their job better than they do.

      I have no sympathy for this defendant, and if he gets a long prison term for what he is charged with, I won’t be a bit sorry. But he is innocent until proven guilty, and we had all damn well be better be glad that this is our legal system, instead of the lynch mob mentality I see in some of the comments here.

Sorry, comment time is over.