An off-duty Chicago police officer accused of driving away after striking a woman on a bicycle, then claiming she ran into his truck, was acquitted of felony charges today.
Instead, Judge James Linn found Michael Bergeson guilty of failure to give information and render aid, a misdemeanor. He will be sentenced in March.
But his front license plate had been knocked off in the crash and was found by police, authorities said.
The nine-year police veteran was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and filing a false police report, both felonies. Authorities said Bergeson, 33, claimed the bicyclist fled after striking his vehicle.
The woman, then 25, was knocked unconscious and suffered facial injuries, fractured bones in her foot and bruises about her body.
Her boyfriend, a witness to the crash, told the Tribune his girlfriend had just finished her bartending job, and the two were riding their bikes home about 3:25 a.m. on Aug. 3.
The boyfriend, Clayton Meyer, said he saw the pickup speeding and weaving in and out of lanes. The truck then ran a stop sign and struck his girlfriend's bicycle, he said.
Prosecutors said the woman was thrown briefly onto the hood of the pickup and hit her head near California and Wabansia avenues.
Meyer said the driver got out of the truck, acted confused and asked the woman if she was all right.
Authorities said Bergeson called 911 twice to tell police of the crash and that a woman had been injured. But he didn't identify himself, they said. Prosecutors said he then jumped back in his truck, drove around the victim and hit two parked cars before fleeing.
Chicago police said Bergeson was relieved of his police powers and assigned to an administrative post with pay.
Off-duty cop acquitted of felony charges in hit-and-run
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