Hit-and-run crash leads to man's arrest

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WALLA WALLA -- A city man was arrested Sunday after a hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist.

The incident began at 2:25 p.m. when police responded to a report of a crash at the Ninth Street parking lot of Hastings Entertainment, police said.

Starling Wilson, 51, of 7 Baumeister Drive, hit bicyclist Craig L. Kanen, 52, of 620 Whitman St., with a 1972 Ford pickup at the parking lot's entrance, police said. While Kanen refused medical treatment, his bike was run over and he told officers the vehicle missed his body by inches, according to a city police report.

Wilson then sped away at high speed and was followed by witnesses, the report said. He drove erratically though town and allegedly struck a dog in an alley. The dog was later put down at a local veterinarian's office, police said.

Wilson continued to speed through the west side of Walla Walla, witnesses told officers.

Eventually law enforcement officials at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center spotted a truck fitting the description of the suspect pickup parked at the baseball fields on the VA campus. They arrested Wilson at about 6:30 p.m.

Wilson was arrested for investigation of two counts of hit and run and one count of operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device. He was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail and was later released on bail, according to Officer Tim Bennett, police spokesman.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at sheilahagar@wwub.com or 526-8322.

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