Jerry Seinfeld : Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, ‘What the heck was this chicken doing walking all over the place anyway?
A Chicago police officer was given community service Friday for striking a pedestrian while driving drunk — a sentence championed by the victim and her mother who hoped he could learn from the pain they endured.
A Cook County judge sentenced Officer Erin Mowry to 30 months of probation and 480 hours of community service in the 2015 crash that nearly killed Courtney Cusentino, now 23.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Mowry will work with brain-injury patients as Cusentino and her mother, Kathy Kean, pushed for in a novel approach.
“It is something I will have to carry for the rest of my life,” Mowry, 42, told Judge Timothy Joyce after he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI.
Mowry’s voice cracked as he noted the “heartache and pain my actions have caused.”
In addition to the community service, Mowry was sentenced to six months in Cook County Jail, but his time on electronic monitoring after being charged will satisfy that requirement.
In a front-page story in the Chicago Tribune last month, Kean explained how she had spent more than two grueling years assisting her daughter’s slow recovery, helping her relearn to walk and speak. She said she saw no value in Mowry doing time in prison and instead proposed he work with brain-injury patients to learn firsthand the damage he had done.
Last month, Joyce announced he would grant the family’s request and impose a sentence that included community service if Mowry pleaded guilty to the DUI charge.
Mowry is suspended with pay, but his felony conviction likely means the Police Department will seek his firing.
Cusentino was crossing the street on Chicago’s Northwest Side in July 2015 when Mowry hit her with his Mercedes, prosecutors have said. The impact knocked her airborne, and she landed on her head, suffering brain injuries so traumatic that doctors initially gave her a 5 percent chance of survival, Kean said Friday in court.
“I had to watch my once vibrant, funny, loving, caring, beautiful daughter lay strapped to a bed … unable to communicate in any way for months,” said Kean, reading from a victim-impact statement.
But after months in the hospital and rehab facilities as well as extensive physical therapy, Cusentino can speak, bathe, dress herself and walk with the aid of a walker. She recently got a job, an accomplishment her family once thought would be impossible, her mother said.
“What we are not sure of is if she will ever ride a bike again, run, learn to drive a car or fulfill her dream of doing hair and makeup,” Kean said in a calm and steady voice.
Mowry was not administered a Breathalyzer test until more than four hours after the crash and still registered a 0.092 blood-alcohol level, above the legal limit of 0.08.
Kean said she suspected that Mowry, as a police officer, was given preferential treatment by other officers.
Joyce could have imposed a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.
After court, Kean said she is still hopeful that Mowry, through his community service, will see up close the kind of pain her daughter — and other family members — went through.
“I think he’s willing to do his best and make things right,” she said of Mowry.
But Cusentino said she had hoped to hear a more personal apology from Mowry.
“I want more than just ‘yeah, I feel bad,’ ” she said.
Scully : It was a simple bio-mechanical reflex that is commonly found in chickens.
A 37-year-old Merced man was arrested late Wednesday after police said he crashed into a house and a police car while driving drunk – and backward.
Rogelio Solorio also crashed into two cars, including an Atwater police cruiser – also while driving in reserve, Chief Samuel Joseph told the Sun-Star.
Atwater police spotted a white Chevrolet Tahoe crash into several trash cans on the side of the road and a parked sedan in the 100 block of Juniper Avenue around 9:08 p.m., the police chief said.
The driver, later identified by police as Solorio, then reversed when the officer attempted a traffic stop and the Tahoe crashed into the police car, Joseph said.
FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) – A man identified as a Roseville police officer was pulled over by Ferndale Police on suspicion of being intoxicated on Nov. 9 at northbound Woodward Ave.
A supervisor was notified, who ordered the driver and his passenger, also suspected to be intoxicated, to be brought to the Ferndale Police Department and to later be driven home.
Ferndale Police was made aware of the incident on Nov. 17 and launched an internal investigation.
A criminal complaint was submitted against the driver for warrant for Operating Under the Influence; the case is currently active and ongoing.
“On the surface, this appears to be an example of poor decision making by one of our lieutenants,” Ferndale Police Chief Collins said. “As a police department, we take cases of operating and driving under the influence incredibly seriously. It’s a critical threat to public health and safety, and we as a department work regularly to educate the community to reduce instances of intoxicated driving.”
Collins reports that if the lieutenant’s actions are found to be in violation of policy and procedure once the investigation is complete, the individual will face appropriate disciplinary measures.
He expects the investigation to be complete within the next week.
“Our jobs are complex and we trust our people to use sound judgment,” Collins said. “When somebody makes a call that is unsafe or not indicative of the department’s values and operations, we take that seriously and we act accordingly.”
Collins said within the next month, the entire department will go through an educational program about intoxicated driving. He says it is department protocol to regularly educate and retrain to ensure continual improvement.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that this kind of error isn’t made again,” Collins said.