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Sabotage suspected after brakes fail on Seattle bike share injuring teen

KOMO News photo shows officers investigating at the scene where the bike crashed.

SEATTLE - A teen riding a bike-share bicycle in Seattle reportedly crashed into a tree overnight after its brakes failed - and it's possible someone may have purposefully severed the bike's brake cable.

A Seattle Fire Department spokesperson says the 18-year-old man was taken to the hospital in stable condition after the crash, which happened at 33rd Street and Fuhrman Avenue East in Portage Bay.

A KOMO News crew responded to the scene and found a Lime e-bike there with slashed brakes.

Police say this has been an ongoing problem, with several incidents of brake slashings over the summer.

One suspect was captured on video apparently sabotaging the brakes on several bike-share bicycles parked at 4th Avenue and South Main Street around 11:45 p.m. on June 14. He can be seen manipulating what appears to be a cutting tool around the bikes’ brakes before walking out of the video frame.

Police also found surveillance photos from a month earlier that appear to show the same man damaging a bike’s brakes near 4th Avenue and Holgate Street at around 11:15 p.m., said Jonah Spangenthal-Lee of the Seattle police.

Similar cases have been reported in other parts of the city since March - including downtown and the International District - but police have not yet confirmed whether there is any linkage between the incidents.

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