Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lawsuit Alleges That Chicago Police Tried to Protect Influential Chicagoan After Striking Bicyclist In Road Rage Incident

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court arising from a July, 2009 road rage incident involving a Chicago bicyclist and an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, Matthew Pritzker, in the city's Old Town neighborhood.  The complaint alleges that Mr. Pritzker is guilty of assault and battery, negligence and willful and wanton misconduct arising from the incident which took place near North Avenue and Segwick.  The complaint also alleges that several Chicago police officers who responded to the scene and/or became involved in the case attempted to protect Mr. Pritzker "because of his political connections and family influence," thereby depriving the bicyclist of his rights.

The complaint alleges that as the cyclist rode near the intersection, Mr. Pritzker, "driving an SUV with a vanity plate of 'P'," nearly struck him.  Shortly afterward the bicyclist rapped on the SUV to alert of driver of what had just happened.  At that point, Mr. Pritzker allegedly became angry and tried to run the biker off the road before fleeing the scene.  According to the complaint, police officers captured Mr. Pritzker shortly thereafter but after speaking with him, blamed the cyclist for the incident.  The complaint alleges that witnesses to the event were urged by police to change statements that had initially been unfavorable to Mr. Pritzker.  "One or more of the Chicago Police Defendants stated that Plaintiff 'deserved what he got'."  Read the full complaint by clicking here.

This story was reported by Time Out Chicago.

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