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Berwyn man charged in death of Forest Park cyclist

A Berwyn man has been arrested and charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed a man riding his bicycle in Forest Park on Sunday.

Joel Mendoza, 21, was charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, Forest Park police said today. Mendoza’s bail was set at $125,000 this afternoon by Judge Carol Kipperman, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. His next court hearing will take place on June 26.

Jeffrey A. Schultz, 40, of Forest Park, was riding a bicycle in the 1400 block of Harlem Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when he was hit by the vehicle, according to police.

Officers found Schultz lying in the road, unresponsive. Schultz was pronounced dead on the scene at 10:43 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. The vehicle was found a short time later, unoccupied, in neighboring Berwyn.

Forest Park Police Commander Ken Gross said that Mendoza turned himself in to police earlier this week. Gross said that Mendoza does not have a criminal record. 

Schultz had been at a high point in his life, according to his father, Ronald Schultz, 67, of Bloomington.

"He was a very happy boy. Things were coming together. He was very ebullient about life," Schultz said.

Jeffrey Schultz had been watching the Blackhawks game at a local pub before he was struck just blocks from his home, Ronald Schultz said.

Ronald Schultz said his son worked in computer-aided drafting for OfficeMax until Friday, when his job ended as the company made corporate changes. But he was optimistic about finding a new job, his father said.

Jeffrey Schultz had recently bought a two-flat in Forest Park and had started gardening, his father said. He was a disc jockey. Ronald Schultz said his son idolized Frank Lloyd Wright and loved Oak Park.

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