Cyclist Upset by Charges Against Driver in Hit and Run
Reported by: Ryan Kath
KANSAS CITY, Mo – A cyclist injured by a hit and run is angry the alleged driver is not facing more serious charges.
On Wednesday, a Lee’s Summit woman was charged for the incident in Clay County Circuit Court. Dawn Mais, 29, faces the class A misdemeanor of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
“I’m absolutely dumbfounded,” said Chuck Pullium, who was hit while riding his bike near the Wheeler Downtown Airport on September 26. “The woman threatened to do bodily harm and then carried through with her threat.”
Pullium accused the driver of honking her horn, yelling at him to get off the road, and then hitting him on NW Lou Holland Drive. The accident mangled Pullium’s bike and left him with a cracked tailbone.
The driver didn’t stop, but Pullium and his son returned to the area the next day. They located the suspected vehicle parked in a secure lot at the airport and called police. A probable cause statement said that “officers observed a scratch on the right front of the vehicle.”
Mais did not respond to interview requests on Wednesday. In the probable cause statement, she told officers that “she honked her horn to get by, but the victim turned his head around and gestured to her by using his middle finger (flipping her off).” Mais also told officers she did not know whether she had struck Pullium or not.
“Given the totality of all the evidence submitted, we charged what we thought we could get a conviction on,” said Clay County Prosecutor Dan White. “We could not prove intent to injure.
Laurie Chipman, the advocacy director for the Kansas City Bicycle Club, said she always hears about misdemeanor charges filed when cyclists involved in collisions with vehicles hope for more serious charges.
“I don’t see much difference between hitting someone with a car or threatening someone with a gun,” she said. “They’re both deadly weapons.”