Crime & Justice

Anchorage cyclist attacked while riding to work on popular bike trail

An Anchorage cyclist was attacked by a teenager Monday morning while commuting to work on the popular Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail, according to Anchorage police and the cyclist's girlfriend.

Cyclist Tim Kirk, identified by his girlfriend Julie Saddoris, remained in the hospital Monday following the alleged attack.

Kirk, 43, was biking to work at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Anita Shell wrote in a release. He was about 80 yards west of the Goose Lake overpass, heading eastbound on the Chester Creek trail, when he came across three teenagers. One teenager was using a branch as a walking stick.

Saddoris said that the three boys stepped aside, but as Kirk passed, one of the teenagers hit him in the face with a branch approximately 5 feet long and about 2 inches in diameter.

"He didn't think that there was any indication that they were going to do anything; it happened all of a sudden, just kind of random," Saddoris said.

Kirk continued to ride away, then eventually lost control and went into a ditch, Saddoris said, where he got out his phone and called 911.

Passersby stopped to help him, and Kirk was then picked up by an ambulance, Saddoris said.

Saddoris said that Kirk suffered "some skull fractures, (a) broken nose, broken orbital socket," 23 stitches to the bridge of his nose, and additional stitches under one eye.

Kirk will be held at the hospital overnight, Saddoris said, and is scheduled to have surgery in one week.

The suspects walked away from the scene after the incident into the East High School neighborhood, Shell wrote.

"The males were described as three black males all with medium skin tone complexion. The assailant is described as approximately 15 years of age, medium build with short hair. His acquaintance is described as a 17 or 18 year old, approximately 6 (feet) tall with short hair on the side and curly on top. No description is available of the third male," Shell wrote.

The attack took place not far from where a woman was knocked unconscious and stabbed while walking along the trail in March.