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Off-Duty Cop Charged With Hit and Run Sentenced to One Year Supervision

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hit and run, Chicago car accident lawyer, personal injury attorney in Chicago, felony, accident reportAn off-duty police officer who had been drinking when he slammed into a cyclist on the West Side last year was sentenced “to a year's court supervision and 30 days community service” in early March, according to the Chicago Tribune. Michael Bergeson, 33, was found guilty of failure to give information and render aid after the accident that left Nina Pilacoutas bleeding on the road. According to a statement Pilacoutas made, Bergeson “hit me with a truck and left the scene while I was bleeding heavily from my head… [he] is a coward and does not deserve to wield a badge,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

Bergeson was not sentenced to serve any time behind bars for the accident—a fact both Pilacoutas and her mother, Therese Fitzpatrick, say would not be the case if he was not an officer. The Tribune reports that Bergeson originally stopped and called the police from his cell phone when Pilacoutas was hit and thrown “briefly onto the hood of the pickup,” but prosecutors alleged that the cop drove off when he heard sirens from an approaching ambulance. “But his front license plate had been knocked off in the crash and was found by police, allowing them to identify him,” reports the Tribune.

While Bergeson was also ordered to “pay $2,250 in restitution to the victim… and attend a DUI victim-impact panel,” he has not had his license revoked or suspended. Though originally charged also with filing a false police report and leaving the scene of an accident—both felony charges—Bergeson “was not found guilty of,” reports to Tribune.

According to a City of Chicago Bicycle Crash Analysis report, “hit and run crashes accounted for 25 percent of both injury and fatal bicycle crashes.” The vast majority of all accident that involved a cyclist happened at night, such as the one in which Pilacoutas was injured.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit and run in the greater Chicago area, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact the law offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton today.

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