WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore — A hit-and-run driver who struck and injured a bicyclist before fleeing the scene in rural Washington County on May 11 was arrested Thursday, authorities said.
Washington County detectives arrested William Offinga, 55, after receiving tips from the public. He faces one count of felony hit-and-run and one count of reckless driving.
“We got multiple tips form people who were obviously familiar with his vehicle and perhaps also his driving pattern in that neighborhood, so we got tips from the public and we were able to follow up and identify the suspect in this case,” said Washington County deputy Brian van Kleef.
Offinga posted bail and was released early Friday morning. He has a court date May 28.
Offinga lives outside Forest Grove. Detectives said his car had damage consistent with a crash.
The crash occurred near the intersection of NW Hillside Road and Clapshaw Hill Road, northwest of Forest Grove, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Offinga was driving a newer Mercedes convertible when he clipped David Embree, who had pulled off to the road’s shoulder to check his map.
"I knew the car was coming but I did not expect to get hit," said Embree.
Embree said the car's side mirror knocked to the ground and he was bleeding from his leg.
"I don't remember being in any pain. I just remember being in total shock like not knowing what just happened," he said. "I do feel really thankful that I can still walk around."
Offinga flipped off Embree as he left the scene, he told deputies.
"Then to add insult to literal injury, the guy gave me a very impolite hand gesture," Embree said.
Offinga was also reportedly driving recklessly on Old Clapshaw Hill Road. A motorcyclist told deputies he was nearly forced off that road by the same driver.
"I don’t know if he was inebriated or thought it'd be fun to hit a cyclist or both," said Embree.
The sheriff’s office released a video of the suspect’s vehicle.
Offinga has a long history of driving troubles, including DUII and speeding, and parking tickets going back to 1982.
“I think it shows that he has a pattern of not following the rules of the road and has some kind of disregard for the law when it comes to driving or parking,” said van Kleef.