SPOKANE, Wash. — The man accused of severely injuring another man in a hit-and-run incident reportedly asked the victim for help jump-starting his car. The suspect then pinned the victim between his car and the victim's car before driving off, according to documents.
Police arrested 72-year-old Michael Cotter and charged him with felony hit-and-run after he allegedly hit a man with his car, ultimately sending him to the hospital with serious injuries. Cotter appeared in court for the first time on Monday.
The incident took place near the Illinois Avenue Bar and Grill in Spokane on Thursday, March 23. While investigating the incident, police spoke with the bar manager and were able to look through the security footage from that day.
According to court documents, Cotter can be seen in security footage crossing the street from the bar and approaching the victim. Cotter reportedly asked the victim for help with his car.
As the victim was helping Cotter, security footage showed him getting into the driver seat of his car and driving forward, pinning the victim between their respective cars. Cotter can then be seen backing up and releasing the victim, who immediately fell to the ground.
Police saw Cotter exit his car, walk past the victim and detach jumper cables from the victim's car. Cotter then walked past the victim a second time, got into his car and drove off without calling an ambulance.
According to documents, the victim was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital and received treatment for a severe leg injury.
On Saturday, police received a call from a woman who identified herself as Cotter's ex-sister-in-law. She told them she saw a story asking for help identifying the suspect on the news and immediately recognized him as Cotter.
That same day, police received a call from someone who claimed they saw Cotter in the area of North Crestline Street at Gordon Avenue. The caller told police Cotter went into an alley west of Crestline between Gordon and Glass Avenue.
An officer went into the alley and immediately saw Cotter walking towards him. The officer arrested Cotter at that time.
Cotter told the officer his car unintentionally switched gears and lunged toward the victim, pinning him. Cotter said he panicked and left the scene.
Cotter made his first court appearance virtually on Monday due to an illness. A judge set his bond at $15,000 and set his arraignment for April 4.
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