The Santa Rosa man accused of running down a visiting professional bicyclist in June was convicted yesterday of all five criminal charges against him. Arthur Yu, 37, pled no contest to and was convicted of felony hit and run causing injury, felony reckless driving causing injury, felony auto theft with a prior conviction, felony possession of a stolen vehicle, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license. Yu, who also admitted having a prior strike conviction for a 2002 residential burglary, faces a maximum sentence of ten years and four months, when he is sentenced by Judge Kenneth Gnoss on November 27th.
On June 29, 2012, prosecutors charged, Yu was driving a 1996 Honda Accord he'd stolen from his father when he crossed into the opposite lane on Pine Flat Road and struck bicyclist Michael Torckler. Yu stopped briefly, and his passenger, William Frasier, got out of the Honda to check on the victim. Yu then fled the scene leaving Frasier there. Yu was arrested the following day. Torckler, a professional cyclist from New Zealand, suffered multiple facial fractures and other injuries and was hospitalized for 12 days before returning to New Zealand.
"We're grateful for Mr. Torckler's ongoing recovery from this potentially deadly crash," said District Attorney Jill Ravitch as the case was concluced. "Sonoma County drivers must remain alert on the roadways for others, including bicyclists and pedestrians. And drivers must hear this simple message that if the worst occurs, pull over, call for help, and render assistance. We will not tolerate drivers leaving those whom they've injured, for dead, on the side of the road."