PART TWO – Bankers Sometimes Commit Financial Crimes And Get Away With It – Now They Can Run Over People On Bicycles Too!

My previous post, “Bankers Sometimes Commit Financial Crimes And Get Away With It – Now They Can Run Over People On Bicycles Too!,” received a lot of attention. I’ve found out some more neat stuff.

First, for those of you new to the story, a brief summary – Martin Joel Erzinger, who manages more than $1 billion in assets for Morgan Stanley in Denver, is being accused only of a misdemeanor for allegedly driving his Mercedes into a cyclist and then fleeing the scene, Colorado’s Vail Daily reports. The victim, Dr. Steven Milo, whom Erzinger allegedly hit in July, suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and, according to his lawyer Harold Haddon, “lifetime pain.”

Now, that is about how much I could find out yesterday. Take a look at this –

From the Vail Daily

Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 just east of Miller Ranch Road, when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving. Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say.

Erzinger allegedly veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo from behind. Milo was thrown to the pavement, while Erzinger struck a culvert and kept driving, according to court documents.

Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town’s roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.

Erzinger told police he was unaware he had hit Milo, court documents say.

When Avon police arrived he was putting a broken side mirror and a bumper in his trunk, court record say.

You can always recognize a solid citizen by the way he takes care of his automobile particularly a new one. If you don’t report an accident, your insurance company won’t cover it. So obviously, that was a priority matter. He had to call. Cyclists are a dime a dozen. They are all over the place. But 2010 Mercedes Benz, now those are rare enough to get concerned, you know, German engineering and all that. That’s important!

Now, let’s read some more –

Court records say prosecutors expressed skepticism to Milo at a suggestion by Erzinger’s defense attorneys that Erzinger might have unknowingly suffered from sleep apnea, and that might have made him caused him to fall asleep at the wheel and hit Milo.

The original complaint included a felony count against Erzinger for causing serious bodily injury. Deputy DA Mark Brostrom is prosecuting the case and Milo says in court documents that Brostrom called Erzinger’s July 3 actions “egregious.” Prosecutors pleaded the case down to a misdemeanor later in the summer, then in August told Milo and his attorneys that Erzinger would face a felony charge, Haddon wrote.

But on Sept. 7, Brostrom told County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan that the case would be pleaded as a misdemeanor. That’s the first time Milo or his attorneys had heard of it, Haddon wrote, and they protested “in the strongest possible terms,” Haddon wrote.

See, he’s innocent. It was sleep apnea.

I read the wikipedia article on sleep apnea. That particular kind of incident is, well, rare. But just look at me! Such a doubter. Such a cynic. I’m really trying to reform and realize the good in people, even when they evade all actual justice.

This is a newer article on the situation.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is taking some heat for his decision to charge hit-and-run suspect Martin Erzinger with two misdemeanors rather than a felony.

Hurlbert has received over 1,000 e-mails since news broke last week that he offered the plea bargain to Erzinger for hitting bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo in Edwards.

There’s also an online petition with more than 6,000 signatures being circulated to tell Hurlbert to keep the felony charge against Erzinger, and the case is receiving national media attention from shows like CBS’s “Inside Edition.”

Goodness, people complaining to a public official. What will the world come to next? Here’s some more –

Milo and his attorney, Harold Haddon, had asked that Erzinger plead to a felony with a deferred judgment, Hurlbert said.

With that, Erzinger would plead guilty to a felony, and as long as he met the conditions it would drop off his record in two to four years.

“They felt this was the best way for Mr. Erzinger to acknowledge the crime,” Hurlbert said.

Hurlbert disagrees, pointing out that Erzinger was not found to be using alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, and that he has no criminal record.

See, he hit him without being impaired. That’s all the difference in the world. You have much better aim without drugs or alcohol.

Now, I don’t want you to get upset and add to the thousand or so complaining e-mails, the District Attorney has received. That would require you to go the Eagle County, Colorado District Attorney web site.

I wouldn’t ask you to do that. I definitely wouldn’t suggest you do that.

But should you disregard my advice, be careful, the city attorney is also listed and he’s okay as far as I can tell.

James Pilant