Lacey man to serve one year in vehicular assault case

A 26-year-old Lacey man will serve one year in custody after pleading guilty to running over a bicyclist in Olympia while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Michael S. Dillman appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch on Tuesday, and pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular assault while under the influence.

Following his July arrest, he had also been charged with one count of hit and run, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea deal.

Olympia police officers arrested Dillman at about 1 a.m. July 16 after he ran over a bicyclist on Fourth Avenue, outside of Eastside Big Tom, according to court documents. The victim and his friends had been riding east when a white Dodge Dart collided with the victim’s bicycle.

One of the witnesses said the victim rolled across the hood of the car, and the driver didn’t appear to slow down. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he was treated for a concussion as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

Dillman was located by an officer on Pacific Avenue. When the officer asked Dillman how much he had to drink, he said, “too much to remember.” He also admitted to crashing into a bicyclist, according to court documents.

David Heerlyn, the victim’s father, spoke at the sentencing hearing and asked the judge to hold Dillman accountable. He said he and the victim’s mother feel very lucky that their son is still alive.

“My son is physically scarred for the rest of his life,” Heerlyn said. “He is forever changed by Mr. Dillman and his decision to drink and drive.”

Heerlyn said that since the incident, his son has been afraid to ride his bicycle on the road.

As part of the plea agreement between the prosecution and the defense, Dillman would have been able to serve his sentence in the Thurston County Jail with the possibility of work release — meaning, he would have been housed in the jail and allowed to attend work during the day. But Hirsch rejected that part of the deal, largely because the victim and his family didn’t agree with that condition.

After nine months in custody, Dillman may be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence on work release.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly