Wow… just wow… ZERO days in jail [and a mild finger wagging] for killing a cyclist and running away – I think that’s a new “record” –
On October 10, 2015 cyclist Charles Startup was killed by a hit/run driver. Charles Startup was riding east on Butternut Ridge Road. The motorist, Ronald Dicenzo, was driving behind him, also eastbound. Another motorist at the scene witnessed the entire incident. According to the witness, Startup was riding in the shoulder when the vehicle struck him, which Perry described as a “dark, sporty 4-door sedan”. Perry saw the driver slow down after the crash, presumably noticing what happened, before fleeing the scene.
Police used a serial number on a piece of the plastic debris that broke off of the car upon impact to determine that the car was a Ford Focus, year 2012 or later, and put out a BOLO on a the car. The following day a media release described the vehicle they were looking for as well. Two days later, on 10/12/15, a citizen called the police with a tip that they found a damaged vehicle matching the description of the news bulletin in an IGA parking lot, he gave them the license plate number, which gave the cops the name and address of Ronald Dicenzo. Dicenzo claimed that he struck an object, but did not realize it was a bicyclist, and did not stop or get out to inspect the damage to his car until much later.
The witness claimed that the driver did not use his brakes or swerve prior to the crash, which is consistent with crash reconstruction (no skidmarks). And the witness claims it was clear and sunny, there were no distractions, and the rider was as far over as possible. The witness was also insistent that the driver knew he hit a bicyclist and chose to flee.
Dicenzo was charged with Felony Hit/Run along with misdemeanor vehicular homicide.
He cut a deal with prosecutors – they dropped the felony – he plead guilty to misdemeanors.
Startup’s son, Joshua, spoke on behalf of his family during the sentencing and told the judge that his father had just returned from a two-week bicycle trip through Argentina and was looking forward to retirement when he was killed. Joshua Startup said his father was in good health and his death was mourned by the whole family, including Charles Startup’s mother, who is still alive at 99.
Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers sentenced Ronald Dicenzo, 77, to 180 days in jail and a $500 fine, but suspended the sentence on condition of one year good behavior. Dicenzo’s license will be suspended for five years…
Oooooo…. that is a MAJOR WristSlap
so yes – he killed a cyclist – fled the scene – and got ZERO DAYS IN JAIL –