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Arrest made in hit-and-run of bicyclists | Crime

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Arrest made in hit-and-run of bicyclists
Crime, News
Arrest made in hit-and-run of bicyclists

Clearwater, FL -- The Clearwater Police Department says it has arrested a suspect in Monday's hit-and-run crash on the Memorial Causeway that killed a bicyclist and left another in critical condition.

In a press conference, Clearwater police say 29-year-old Christopher Patrick Weed is the person who struck a Largo couple as they rode on a tandem bike at 6:30 a.m. yesterday.

Police say an anonymous tip led them to Weed. Investigators also allegedly found his truck without its windshield in the backyard of his residence. He was arrested at his mother's home in Dunedin tonight without incident.

Weed reportedly told police he blacked out after driving home from work and doesn't remember anything. He said he woke up in the shower later on Monday and saw the incident on the news.

The man who was struck, 25-year-old Robert Lemon, died from injuries he sustained in the crash, while his girlfriend, 27-year-old Hilary Michalak, remains in critical condition.

PHOTOS: 2 bicyclists hit on tandem bike on Memorial Causeway 

The couple had moved to Florida recently from Michigan.

Hilary is a youth counselor at a church in Seminole. Robert, who had a passion for cycling, had landed a job as a manager at a local bike shop.

Frank Lopez, who hired Robert, says the avid cyclist was extremely safety-oriented and was trying to introduce Hilary to the sport.

"He considered moving here and I offered him a job, and he basically picked up and moved here. He loved riding his bike. He moved here because he wanted to ride his bike," said Lopez.

At the couple's apartment in Largo, representatives from Hilary's church stopped by Tuesday to help gather important documents and belongings. They told 10 News the couple's families were distraught and were praying that whoever hit the pair would be caught soon.

Investigators checked traffic cameras at a nearby intersection but didn't find any helpful evidence. They also looked to see if there were more cameras -- perhaps at other locations on Clearwater Beach -- that could yield clues.

"Probably going back and visiting places in that area just to see if there's anything else that could help us solve this," said Shaw.

In the meantime, friends, co-workers, and neighbors say they're sickened that the person responsible for hitting the couple was still out there.

"I think it's just terrible someone could not react to something like that. Have a heart, you know, and they have no heart," said neighbor Barba Illes. "Please come forward and give some closure to the families of these two kids, you know?"

A church member also told 10 News that the family is working to donate Robert Lemon's organs.

Police say Christopher Weed has two previous arrests, one for disorderly intoxication in 2012 and one for racing in 2006. He is now being charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury. Both are felonies.

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