Judge Turns Down San Hamel’s Request to Get His Car Back – For Now

Ghost bike memorial to Bobby Cann at the crash site. Photo: John Greenfield

At a court hearing on Monday, Judge William Hooks denied a request by Ryne San Hamel, 28, the driver who allegedly struck and killed bicyclist Bobby Cann, 25, while drunk and speeding, to get his impounded Mercedes back. However, San Hamel may be able to reclaim his car after the next hearing on Friday, November 8, according to Kate Conway, an attorney for Cann’s family.

The fatal crash took place on May 29 on the 1300 block of North Clybourn in Old Town. San Hamel is accused of killing Cann while driving 50 mph on a city street with a blood-alcohol content of .127. He has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI, misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and failure to stay in the lane.

At the previous hearing on September 23, the defense made an informal request to get San Hamel’s Mercedes back. Also at that hearing, Hooks approved a motion by Assistant State’s Attorney Maria Augustus to amend the conditions of San Hamel’s bond so that he cannot drive, as well as the state’s request for random drug and alcohol testing for the defendant.

On Monday, the defense formally motioned to reclaim the Mercedes as well as personal belongings in the car, such as a computer and clothing, Conway said. Augustus responded that, due to the serious nature of the case, the state doesn’t want to return the vehicle until the investigation is complete.

Bobby Cann. Photo: Groupon

The judge entered and continued the defense’s motion, which means that while San Hamel will not get his car back now, the defense could re-present the motion at the November 8 hearing, according to Conway. At that point, the state would have to provide an affidavit, or some other kind of supporting evidence, indicating that the investigation is ongoing.

There was also a discussion of whether San Hamel could simply get his personal belongings back. For the time being, the state will maintain possession of these items, but that may be discussed at the next hearing, Conway said. At that hearing, there will also be a status report on discovery, the sharing of information between the two sides.

About 15 Cann supporters, friends of the cyclist and members of the local bicycle community, attended Monday’s  hearing, along with San Hamel’s family, Conway said.The November 8 hearing will take place at at 10 a.m. at the Cook County Courthouse, 26th and California, room 301.

Cann, who worked at Groupon, has been widely described as a safe biking advocate. To honor his efforts to promote cycling, on Friday, October 25, at 1 p.m., there will be a ceremony to mark the installation of an honorary street sign for him at Clybourn and Larrabee.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, John, for this thorough reporting.

  • Sure thing Bob, and thanks for your advocacy on this case.

  • Craig Davis

    I’ve created a facebook event to help folks remember and publicly commit to attending the November 8 court date in support of the late Mr. Cann. Please consider joining and most importantly, attending the court date.


  • Anonymous

    Now watch, the ASA will screw this up by trying not to return the personal property (which there is likely no reason to hold) and piss off the judge, causing the car to be returned as well.

  • I’ve added this to the Streetsblog Chicago calendar.

  • Anonymous

    That calendar is so cleverly hidden that I cannot find it. Where can I find it?

  • Tab at right-hand corner of the screen.

  • Anonymous

    Ah got it. Adblock plus cleverly suppressed that part of the page.

  • I wonder why AdBlock Plus “likes” that area.

  • Reader

    Thanks for your clear, concise reporting. This is the easiest place for me to follow the case.

  • Certainly. I’m glad this is useful.

  • sterf

    I’m thankful for these updates as well. While I would love to attend every court date, my job just doesn’t allow it. I’m sure there are many others like me, and it’s nice to have this resource to stay informed. I know Bobby’s death hit everyone in the cycling community hard and being able to follow this driver’s case, hoping that justice is served, is important to us all. I really appreciate these posts, John. Thanks for all you do.

  • Sure thing. Thanks for reading.

  • Arline Silcox

    Creative blog post , I was enlightened by the info . Does someone know
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Driver Who Killed Bobby Cann Asked Judge For His Mercedes Back

At a September 23 court hearing, Ryne San Hamel, 28, who allegedly struck and killed bicyclist Bobby Cann, 25, while drunk and speeding, requested that the state give him back his impounded Mercedes, according to victim advocate Sharon Johnson. Prior to the hearing, the summary suspension of San Hamel’s driver’s license was rescinded, Johnson said. […]

An Update on the Bobby Cann Case

The family of fallen cyclist Robert “Bobby” Cann flew in from the East Coast to attend a hearing last week in the criminal case against motorist Ryne San Hamel, who allegedly struck Cann while drunk and speeding. At the hearing, the assistant state’s attorney said she plans to have an expert examine San Hamel’s car […]