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Chicago cop charged after trying to pin blame for collision on injured cyclist

Prosecutors say off-duty officer responsible for hitting female victim with his pick-up truck and filing false police report

A Chicago police officer has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries and disorderly conduct for filing a false police report after allegedly hitting a cyclist with his pick-up truck then attempting to blame her for causing the collision.

Michael Bergeson, aged 33, was off duty at the time of the incident, which took place at 3.25am on the morning of 3 August at the corner of California Avenue and Wabansia Avenue in the city’s Humboldt Park district, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Prosecutors say that he hit the unnamed female victim, riding with her boyfriend, with his truck, sending her flying over the bonnet and suffering a head wound. She spent two days in hospital due to abrasions, fractured bones in her foot and multiple facial injuries. Immediately after the incident, she was said to be drifting in and out of consciousness.

They also maintain that Bergeson got out of the truck and, without identifying himself, called the 911 emergency number and said: “female down, reason unknown, appears to be conscious.” He rang 911 again two minutes later and said: “Possible AA female injured.”

According to prosecutors, when an ambulance arrived at the scene three minutes later, Bergeson got into his vehicle and, after driving round the injured cyclist, collided with two parked cars, which caused his license plate to fall off his truck.

The license plate left at the scene led to police visiting Bergeson’s home later that day but no-one answered the door and there was no sign of the pick-up truck. Two days later, he filed a police report alleging that the victim had ridden her bike through a stop sign and collided with his vehicle.

He also said that she had been responsible for his license plate falling off his truck, although prosecutors insist that medical and forensic records prove that the incident was his fault.

Bergeson, who joined the Chicago police department in 2003, was ordered to be held in custody in place of $25,000 bail.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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