COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — More than three months after Chicago Police Officer Tito Rodriguez Jr. was killed while riding his motorcycle on the Dan Ryan Expy., the driver who allegedly caused the crash has been charged with reckless homicide.
Dennis Anderson, 50, was driving a red Pontiac G5 southbound in the express lanes of the Dan Ryan near 71st street on July 20 when prosecutors said he illegally swerved across multiple lanes in an attempt to make the 71st Street exit in the local lanes.
Erin Meyer says its unusual for the charges to come so long after a crash:
Two off-duty Chicago officers riding motorcycles with Rodriguez in the same direction of travel allegedly saw Anderson's vehicle cut the victim off. Rodriguez, 28, hit his brakes but could not stop in time, prosecutors said.
He crashed his motorcycle into the back of Anderson's car, was ejected into the air and landed on the pavement, prosecutors said.
Rodriguez was taken to St. Bernard Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:25 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Charged with reckless homicide in the officer's death, Anderson appeared before a judge Wednesday.
An attorney representing Anderson said his client's account of the crash is very different, but he did not elaborate.
Anderson initially was charged with improper lane usage and not having valid insurance. He was leaving Daley Plaza this week after those charges had been dismissed, when State Police rushed in to arrest him, Anderson's attorney said.
Anderson, who was traveling with his sons, ages 13 and 16, at the time of the accident, is a member of the Local School Council at Beasley Elementary in Grand Boulevard and works as a supervisor in janitorial services at the Cook County Sheriff's Office, his attorney said.
A Cook County judge ordered him placed on electronic monitoring.
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