COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A motorcyclist cruising down Bryn Mawr Avenue Monday morning was critically injured when he was thrown onto the hood of a car driven by a drunk suburban man, prosecutors said.
Mike Kowalski, 37, was going west in the 5900 block of Bryn Mawr in a car when he swerved into oncoming traffic near the intersection of Marmora Avenue and struck a man on a motorcycle at about 9:30 a.m. on Monday, said prosecutors Wednesday when he appeared briefly in court for a bond hearing.
The motorcyclist flew onto the hood of Kowalski's Mazda 626 and then landed on the street in Jefferson Park, prosecutors said. Kowalski took off, but not before a witness got his license plate number.
The 47-year-old motorcyclist was taken in critical condition to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where he is being treated for bleeding on the brain, a punctured lung and broken ribs, prosecutors said.
After hitting the motorcyclist, Kowalski sped away only to crash into a car and an ATM truck at Avondale and Nagle avenues, according to a police report.
Kowalski fled again, but this time one or more of the victims followed him, cornering the alleged drunk driver at Avondale Avenue and Hurlbut Street until police arrived.
Responding officers could see the driver sitting in his car attempting to light a cigarette, the report states.
As they approached the car, Kowalski could allegedly be seen mumbling to himself, authorities said.
Glassy-eyed, the driver smelled like alcohol, according to the report. He attempted to say something when officers asked for his driver's license but Kowalski's speech was so slurred, police could not understand him.
Before getting out of the car, Kowalski allegedly threw his lit cigarette between seat and center counsel, which started smoking moments later.
Fearing that the car would catch fire, police pulled Kowalski from the car and doused the center counsel with water, according to the report.
Kowalski, who has two prior DUI convictions, was arrested and charged with two felonies — aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident — and traffic citations.
Kowalski lives in Waukegan but is officially a resident of Poland, prosecutors said. He has previously been deported, authorities said.
A Cook County judge ordered him held on $90,000 bail Wednesday. If he makes bail, Kowalski will have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.