Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bicyclist Ryan Holyk's DNA found on deputy's SUV; family and Sheriff's Office at odds over info

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 1:34 PM

Ryan Holyk's DNA was found on the front bumper of Deputy Joe Bodman's patrol SUV, despite three investigations that found the vehicle missed hitting Holyk and his bike by about a foot. 

Mike Maurer, the attorney for Holyk's family who has filed a lawsuit against Deputy Bodman and the Sheriff's Office, says the presence of DNA doesn't necessarily prove the SUV hit Holyk, but certainly raises many more questions about the case: Who found the DNA? Where specifically was it located on the front bumper? Could it indicate there was contact, contrary to what the Sheriff's Office and investigators found? 

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says the DNA still doesn't indicate there was any contact between Holyk and the Deputy's SUV.  

"Ryan and [Bodman's] vehicle were in close proximity," Knezovich says. "There were firefighters, AMR, law enforcement, civilians all around. All it takes is one individual who had contact with Ryan to brush up and touch that vehicle to leave DNA on it."

Maurer thinks that explanation sounds a little farfetched.

Ryan's parents, Carrie Thomson and Aaron Holyk, don't buy it either. 

"I don't understand how they've been saying this whole time that there was no contact even though the deputy radioed in and said 'I hit a kid,'" Thomson says. "And now there's DNA on the bumper. We just don't know what to believe from the Sheriff's Office anymore." 

Aaron Holyk echoes that sentiment. 

"I am not pleased with the way the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is handling this," he says. "They're supposed to be protecting and serving, not screwing over the Spokane community. It's a cover up." 

Knezovich says the news of this evidence is a legal tactic to get the County to cut a settlement. He contends that Holyk's attorneys have had the DNA information for more than a year. Maurer says that's not true. 

"I just got this information late last week as a response to discovery requests I filed with the Sheriff's Office," Maurer says. "No body other than the Sheriff's Office had this information until then." 

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Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.