Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on January 25th, 2012 at 10:25 am
“To me, driving off and leaving a bicyclist or pedestrian laying on the side of the road is one of the most cold-hearted things a driver can do. We’ll go after them every chance we get.”
— Sgt. Todd Davis, Portland Police Bureau
The Portland Police Bureau takes hit-and-runs seriously — especially when they involve someone walking or biking. I know their response to incidents doesn’t satisfy everyone all of the time; but in my experience, when they have enough evidence to work with, they go after suspects until they find them.
So far this year, I’ve learned of two arrests that have been made. In both cases, the person driving the car hit someone riding a bike and then fled the scene. In both cases, the PPB opened an investigation and made an arrest.
On December 31st, 28-year old Nicholas Smith was riding his bike on NE Sumner. When he got to NE 28th, he was hit by William Prosser, an 18-year old who was driving a car. The impact threw Smith from his bike and he sustained minor injuries. Prosser fled the scene but fortunately, Smith was able to get his license plate number.
PPB Officer Chris Johnson (whom Sgt. Todd Davis tells me handles the majority of bicycle cases), was assigned the investigation. Officer Johnson traced the license plate to Prosser and Sgt. Davis says Prosser turned himself in yesterday. He was arrested on one count of hit-and-run.
On January 11th, 27 year old Brian Reiter was riding his bike at the intersection of NE Multnomah and Wheeler in the Rose Quarter following a Trail Blazer game when he was struck by 25 year old Kealli Kai Torres. The impact left Reiter with a broken foot and facial “contusions.” He was transported to the hospital via ambulance. Torres, who was driving a car, fled the scene.
According to police, a Broadway Cab driver named Aaron Duff saw the incident and followed Torres several blocks. Duff then confronted the woman and told her she needed to return to the scene or he’d continue to follow her. Torres listened, returned to the scene, and was subsequently arrested for felony hit and run.
The cab driver, Aaron Duff, deserves recognition for stepping up and taking action in this case.
Sgt. Davis, who processes all the hit-and-runs that come into the PPB, told me yesterday that,
“We follow-up up on every one of these cases that we can. To me, driving off and leaving a bicyclist or pedestrian laying on the side of the road is one of the most cold-hearted things a driver can do. We’ll go after them every chance we get.”