Cop gets community service for hit-and-run involving bicyclist - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Cop gets community service for off-duty hit-and-run involving bicyclist

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A Chicago Police officer was sentenced to one year of court supervision and 30 days of community service Wednesday for his role in an off-duty hit-and-run that seriously injured a young bicyclist in Logan Square, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Nina Pilacoutas called Michael Bergeson a "coward" for nearly "killing" her on Aug. 3, 2012.

"Shame on you and your defense lawyers," said Pilacoutas, 27.

Bergeson told Pilacoutas "I apologize from the bottom of my heart" for the physical and emotional distress and said he prays for her every night.

Bergeson, 34, was convicted last month of leaving the scene of an accident without giving aid and proper information following the crash at California and Wabansia avenues.

Cook County Judge James Linn acquitted Bergeson of the more serious charges of felony leaving the scene of an accident, filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.

Bergeson, who allegedly had been drinking, had stopped and called 911 three times after he hit Pilacoutas with his Ford F-150 but he never admitted that he hit her, who he was or where he was when he made those calls, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lauren Freeman said.

On the day of the crash, responding officers were able to trace the license plate to Bergeson's home in the 1800 block of North Whipple, prosecutors said. He didn't answer the door, and the truck was nowhere to be seen.

Two days later, the officer filed a police report in the 25th District, stating that he was traveling northbound on California when the victim disregarded a stop sign at Wabansia and hit him, prosecutors said.

Pilacoutas, a sculptor and bartender, suffered a concussion, several broken bones and blunt trauma to her head after she flew over Bergeson's truck's hood and landed on the pavement.

Pilacoutas' mother, a nurse, told Bergeson that he, like her, are held to a higher standard.

"Society expects more from us," she told Bergeson before he was sentenced.

Bergeson was in the "wrong" but is otherwise an exemplary police officer, Linn said.

Linn also ordered Bergeson to pay $2,200 in restitution to Pilacoutas.

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