Driver, 90, Strikes Two Cyclists in West Town, Police Arrest One of the Cyclists
Yesterday after a 90-year-old male driver struck a man and a woman on bikes on Milwaukee Avenue in West Town, the male cyclist was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for breaking the motorist’s windshield, while the driver got a mere traffic ticket, according to the woman and the Chicago Police Department.
Megan Camarigg posted last night on a Ukrainian Village Facebook discussion group that at 5:30 p.m. that evening a driver struck her on Milwaukee at Chicago. “The man tried to continue to run me over as he turned right into the bike lane,” she wrote. “Another biker tried to stop him as I was on the hood and fell in front of his car. As the driver would not stop going, the biker hit the driver’s windshield to make the driver stop from running me over.”
Officer Jose Jara from Police News Affairs said that there was apparently a run-in between the elderly driver and one or both of the cyclists on Milwaukee northwest of the Chicago/Milwaukee intersection. Jara said surveillance camera footage shows that, following the initial encounter, the southbound driver stopped at a red light at Chicago and Camarigg and the second cyclist, identified as Daniel Moso-Vazquez, blocked his path. The video shows Camarigg striking the front passenger window of the car with her hand, according to Jara. The footage then shows the driver striking Camarigg and Moso-Vasquez with his car, and Moso-Vasquez breaking the windshield, Jara said.
Camarigg posted that a male bystander “stopped and took the keys out of the driver’s car to make him stop from running me over.” Jara said he had no record of this.
Jara said all parties declined medical attention. The driver was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way to a cyclist. But Moso-Vasquez was handcuffed, taken to the 12th District police headquarters and charged with a misdemeanor for criminal damage to property valued at under $500, Jara said.
“They arrested [Moso-Vasquez] but not the driver who hit me with his car,” Camarigg posted. “They let the driver off with a traffic violation, not aggravated assault?”
“[The driver] probably got scared and let go of his brake,” Jara told me.
Camarigg also expressed disbelief that the senior was allowed to drive away with a shattered windshield, and said that an officer threatened to write her a ticker for biking without a helmet, which isn’t illegal in Chicago. Jara said the police report stated that Camarigg “did not use a bicycle helmet.”
Camarigg said she had posted on the neighborhood forum because she was trying to get in touch with bystanders who had shot video of the incident. She said she felt the responding officers were heavily biased in favor of the driver. “Out of the eight cops I dealt with tonight, only two were [professional.] It was the police officers’ decision not to press aggravated assault, and [the driver] got a ticket. Thanks, CPD.”
“She got into with it with the driver, and the driver got into it with her,” Jara said. “No one was hurt. You know, life goes on.”
I’ve reached out to Camarigg via social media for more information and will update this post if I hear from her.