Hennepin County authorities have charged a Minneapolis, Minnesota man with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor driving while impaired charges in relation to a fatal bike accident on March 30. Minneapolis Police say that officers found a woman lying in the middle of Lake Street shortly after 2:15 that morning.
Officers spoke to a person who called 911 to report the incident. The witness says that he turned from Lake Street onto Cedar Avenue and the woman turned the opposite direction on Cedar. He says he heard a noise and turned around to find the woman in the street.
Meanwhile, a responding officer claims that a Monte Carlo with front-end damage was driving south on Bloomington Avenue shortly after the accident. Officers pulled over the car near Franklin Avenue. The man police say driving that car is now facing the hit-run and DWI charges in Hennepin County.
Police believe that the man was intoxicated. Authorities say that when he was pulled over, the man admitted to hitting someone with his car. Authorities arrested the man. Although police claim that the man was intoxicated, the results of a blood test taken after the crash have not been processed, according to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County.
Two passengers reportedly were in the Monte Carlo when police pulled over the car. The passengers reportedly told police that they did not know what had happened, but each reportedly says that the driver stopped briefly at the intersection of Lake and Cedar, according to the complaint. Police claim that the two passengers told authorities that the driver had said that he had a green light, but struck a bicyclist in the intersection.
Authorities filed a formal criminal complaint in the case last week. The complaint charges the man with felony hit and run, which carries a maximum potential prison sentence of three years. A second count alleges fourth-degree DWI, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days. It is not clear from the media whether authorities will seek to add to the charges at a future time.
Many people may be familiar with the way pop culture handles Miranda rights in television and movie dramas. Miranda rights are intended to let a person know of the right to remain silent, the right to representation, and other important rights in the face of a criminal investigation. It is important to note that constitutional rights exist even before law enforcement takes a person into custody, but Miranda rights are not required until law enforcement wishes to interrogate a person after being taken into custody.
Source: KSTP, “Charges Filed in Hit-and-Run Death of Mpls Bicyclist,” Cassie Hart, April 2, 2013