Deputies Arrest Elderly Bicyclist Accused of Attacking a Hiker

Deputies Arrest Elderly Bicyclist Accused of Attacking a Hiker
Photo: Trail in Mount Burdell Preserve

NOVATO — A chance encounter between a bicyclist and a hiker on a mountain trail turned ugly. Marin County Sheriff’s deputies later arrested the elderly cyclist for allegedly attacking the hiker—and her dog.

Occasionally, tensions flare up between mountain bikers and hikers sharing multi-purpose trails in Marin County. One such confrontation escalated to more serious violence last week.

The sheriff’s office received a report of an assault on January 31st involving a cyclist and a hiker. The call came in at approximately 10 a.m. from Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve.

The hiker reported that the cyclist began yelling at her after her off-leash dog started barking at him. A few moments later, the cyclist allegedly dismounted from his bike and started kicking her dog.

The woman told deputies that she pushed the man away from her dog—to stop him from kicking it. That’s when, she claims the man knocked her to the ground and began choking her.

This incident apparently ended quickly. Soon afterward, the cyclist fled in a van, leaving behind his bicycle and some personal items. Neither the woman nor her dog sustained lasting injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

On the following day, deputies located the suspect about 6 miles away in the Hamilton neighborhood of Novato. Jeffrey W. Skelton, 63 of Novato, was arrested February 1 on Martin Drive.

Skelton remains in custody at Marin County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. His charges are assault likely to cause great bodily injury, and animal cruelty. In addition, Skelton is accused of probation violation.

Deputies Arrest Elderly Bicyclist Accused of Attacking a Hiker was last modified: February 6th, 2019 by admin
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