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TMCNet:  Chicago cop charged in hit-run that seriously hurt bicyclist

[November 29, 2012]

Chicago cop charged in hit-run that seriously hurt bicyclist

Nov 29, 2012 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Chicago police officer has been charged with striking and seriously injuring a bicyclist, then fleeing in his truck and later filing a false report about the accident.

Michael Bergeson, 33, an officer since 2003, was driving his truck near California and Wabansia Aug. 3 when he struck the woman while she was riding her bicycle with her boyfriend, knocking her unconscious with a head injury, officials said.

Bergeson stopped and called 911 from his cell phone without identifying himself as a Chicago police officer and provided the location and condition of the victim, stating "female down, reason unknown, appears to be conscious,'' according to the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Two minutes later, he called 911 again and stated the victim was possibly injured, the office said.

As the ambulance approached, Bergeson got back into his truck, drove around the victim and hit two parked cars as fled the scene, the office said. But his license plate was knocked loose and recovered on the scene by responding officers, officials said.

The woman was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital with facial injuries, fractured bones in her foot and abrasions, the office said.

On Aug. 5, Bergeson made a false traffic accident report at the Grand Central District police station, the office said.

He told the desk officer he was driving north on California and was turning west onto Wabansia when a bicyclist disregarded a stop sign and hit his truck, which he said was now missing a front license plate. Prosecutors say Bergeson claimed the bicyclist fled the scene.

Paint samples from the truck showed it had struck the woman's bike as well as the two parked cars, the office said.

Bergeson was charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injuries, a Class 1 felony, and disorderly conduct filing a false report, a Class 4 felony, according to the state's attorney's office.

Judge Israel Desierto today set bail for Bergeson at $25,000 during a bond hearing today. He will appear in court again on Dec. 20.

rsobol@tribune.com Twitter:@RosemarySobol1 ___ (c)2012 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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