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Driver charged in motorcycle cop's crash

May 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
He says he stopped for a police officer, but now he's being charged with assault. A man who says this accident has changed his life.

For Brian Hitchcock, 60, it was literally a run-in with the law. His BMW convertible still bears the damage.

A cellphone picture on DailyBreeze.com shows the scene: the Hermosa Beach Police officer upside down in Hitchcock's backseat, his motorcycle smashed into the bumper.

"I suddenly heard this immediate, loud, piercing, shrill siren," said Hitchcock. "I instinctively hit the brake, then I looked to see where had he gone. Immediately I heard the crunch and when I looked over my shoulder, he was in my back seat."

Hitchcock reaction has him facing charges as the officer claims it was intentional.

"I didn't even do it consciously, let alone on purpose," said Hitchcock. "I did it instinctively. I hit the brakes and apparently he was awfully close when I hit the brakes."

It happened last June in Redondo Beach. In his report the Hermosa Beach Police officer says he was pulling Hitchcock over because he made an unsafe lane change.

The crash happened just after Hitchcock and the officer took off from a stoplight at Ford and Artesia in Redondo Beach.

Hitchcock says he has no idea why he was being stopped and has never been charged.

At least not for the initial stop, but Hitchcock now faces misdemeanor charges for assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving with the intent to cause great bodily harm.

The L.A. County District Attorney declined to file felony charges citing insufficient evidence Hitchcock intentionally stopped short.

In a statement, Brenda Wells, the Redondo Beach city prosecutor, who filed the charges says: "We believe that the evidence will show he violated the sections of the penal code and the vehicle code and that will come out at trial."

Hitchcock says he's certain he will be cleared.

Redondo Beach Police have no comment on the upcoming hearing. Police say any comment must come from the city attorney's office.


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