According to King County prosecutors, 22-year-old Eli Aldinger hated his job at a restaurant and wanted to change the direction of his life.
Bothell police say a 22-year-old man intentionally hit two pedestrians with his car because he hated his job and figured a prison sentence would change the direction of his life.
Eli Aldinger, of Snohomish, who remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, was charged last week with two counts of first-degree assault, jail and court records show.
The women Aldinger is accused of hitting with his Toyota Camry were severely bruised in the incident but did not suffer broken bones or internal bleeding, according to King County prosecutors. A third pedestrian was able to run out of the way but told police he was frightened and thought he was going to be hit by Aldinger’s car, charging papers say.
Aldinger was on his way to work at McMenamins Anderson School restaurant in Bothell on April 20 when he decided “to run over some pedestrians as a way to get out of going to work and change the trajectory of his life,” say the charges.
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A 44-year-old woman and her husband were in a crosswalk at 101st Avenue Northeast and Main Street when a car heading west on Main sped up to about 40 mph and slammed into the woman, who jumped on the car’s hood, charging papers say.
A block west, at Main Street and Bothell Way Northeast, a 43-year-old woman was struck in a crosswalk after the Camry intentionally swerved to hit her, say the charges.
The Camry, which then turned north, nearly struck a 46-year-old man at Bothell Way Northeast and Northeast 183rd Street, according to the charges.
A Bothell police officer, who had just finished responding to an unrelated traffic accident at Northeast 185th Street, heard tires screeching and saw the Camry driving on the wrong side of Bothell Way, the charges say. The officer also saw the 46-year-old man running to get out of the way and watched as the Camry continued north before stopping at Northeast 185th Street.
The officer used his patrol car to block the Camry from continuing forward and the driver of a pickup who had witnessed the women getting hit pulled his vehicle behind the Camry, the charges say.
According to police, Aldinger didn’t show any signs of intoxication and was nonchalant as he told the officer he intended only to injure the pedestrians to avoid going to work, say charging papers.
Police said Aldinger told an officer, “l’m not happy with the direction my life is going. l’ve been working in the food industry for five years and hate it.”
Aldinger also said he was struggling with insomnia and hadn’t slept for three days, according to police.
“Eli said he was looking forward to spending ‘a few years in a room.’ He seemed almost relieved to be going to jail,” the arresting officer wrote in charging documents. “… He said this was ‘a life experience’ and he was just trying to take it all in. I asked him if it was worth it and he said, ‘Yeah.’ ”
When the officer asked Aldinger if he was looking for notoriety, he said no, he was just trying to change his life, the charges say.