Crime

Police officer in Peculiar suspended after crashing into bicyclist

A police officer in Peculiar has been suspended with pay after he crashed his patrol vehicle into a bicyclist who was stopped at an intersection Thursday evening in Cass County.

The bicyclist, Joseph W. Fasanello, sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment following the wreck at around 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Missouri Route J and 211th Street.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating whether the patrol officer, Charles W. Wallace, 41, was distracted while driving.

Police Chief Harry Gurin said Wallace has been with the police department for four years and would remain suspended until the highway patrol concludes its investigation.

Fasanello, 31, of Raymore was waiting for traffic to clear when the northbound patrol SUV cut the corner too sharply and struck him, the highway patrol reported.

Fasanello captured the entire incident on a camera mounted to his helmet. The video was uploaded to YouTube and showed the patrol SUV make what appeared to be a left-hand turn and then slam into the bicycle.

“Why were you texting” Fasanello asked Wallace in the video.

Wallace pulled over and radioed for assistance.

“I wasn’t texting, I was looking at my phone,” he replied in the video. “…I know, it was my bad, I wasn’t paying attention.”

Troopers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol took an accident report and administered a breathalyzer test, which Wallace passed.

On the video, Fasanello said he sustained minor cuts and bruises but wasn’t seriously injured. His bicycle was destroyed.

Wallace was on patrol and not responding to any emergency call when the wreck occurred. An outside agency will administer a drug test, Gurin said.

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