Defense Attorney: Cop Wasn’t Drunk When He Struck & Killed Teen

CHICAGO (STMW) — An off-duty Chicago Police officer charged in a deadly drunken driving accident wasn’t intoxicated and was only trying to avoid the 13-year-old boy riding his bike on the wrong side of Ashland when the officer struck and killed him, the cop’s attorney said at the first day of his trial Tuesday.

Richard Bolling, 42, passed all field sobriety tests before he was given a Breathalyzer test following the May 22, 2009 accident at 81st and Ashland, Tom Needham said in his opening statements.

Bolling has asked “for no special favors” and was in a state of “complete horror, fear and grief” when fellow officers told him Trenton Booker had died, Needham said.

But prosecutors painted a different picture. Before he heard about the fatality, all Bolling cared about was the damage to his Dodge Charger and when he could eat the White Castle meal officers found next to an open bottle of beer in his car, assistant Cook County state’s attorney Ashley Romito said.

Bolling didn’t undergo field sobriety tests until two hours after the accident and he wasn’t given a Breathalyzer test until 4 ½ hours later, Romito said.

His blood alcohol level registered at .079 — just a bit shy of the .08 legal intoxication level. Had Bolling been given the test sooner, his blood alcohol level would have been higher, Romito argued.

Bolling, who is expected to take the stand during the trial, admits he consumed a mixed drink and bottle of beer with friends at a South Side bar before the fatal wreck, Needham said.

The officer also grabbed a bottle of beer the bartender had given him on the way out and took a few sips, Needham said.

But Bolling was far from intoxicated when he drove southbound on Ashland, Needham said, saying that the Breathalyzer test was not accurate.

Trenton and a friend were riding their bicycles northbound on the southbound lanes on Ashland when Bolling swerved, trying to avoid hitting them, Needham said.

Bolling kept driving at a high rate of speed after he hit Trenton, sending him airborne like a helicopter, Romito said.

“He should of stopped but he didn’t. He was in a state of shock,” Needham explained.

Trenton’s mother, Barbara Norman, wept as she testified Tuesday that she didn’t know her son had snuck out and was riding his bicycle at 1:30 a.m.

Miles Roberts, who had just left a nearby dance club, said he was irritated to see two boys riding their bicycles on a sidewalk well past curfew.

But what he saw next was even more horrifying.

“I heard a loud thump,” Roberts said, describing the impact between Bolling’s speeding Charger and Trenton’s bicycle.

“I screamed, ‘No!’”

Bolling has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

The trial continued Tuesday afternoon.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Joe in Missouri

    Pigs are showing what disgusting animals they are. His fellow swine are covering for a murderer and they are OK with that…..

    • Gene

      Pigs? Didn’t you read the article? The cop wasn’t even drunk! Murderer? It seems you have a problem with law enforcement. How much time did you do?

      • Joe in Missouri

        The cop was drunk at the time of the accident and his fellow pig conveniently says that he passed an objective test. I am not impressed. Cops lie, cops lie all the time. Cops lie even when the truth would suffice. Have you been paying attention to the dozens a day Youtubes of lying cops?

      • Joe in Missouri

        Yes I have a huge problem with the criminals that call themselves law enforcement Gene. You are very observant…. And you are a moron for you last comment. You sound like you might be a cop. You certainly have the intelligence of one.

    • Zach

      The real question is why was the 13 year old out at an asinine time of the morning, riding his bike. Would you not give your friend a hand if they asked you for one or are you that shallow to throw them under the bus?

      What you are reading is purely scratching the surface. I suggest you go for a walk in those neighborhoods and see what their “culture” is like before you say that this man did the worst thing in the world. Sometimes these things called “accidents” happen. So stop trying to force your viewpoint on other people and shut up and keep your personal opinions in Missouri. If you don’t think you should be forced to, then come to Chicago. Let’s go for ride.

      The guy who is tired of ignorant people like yourself who refuse to see two sides to a story.

      • Zach

        My apologies. I meant “Joe” not Gene

  • Joe in Missouri

    If it were you or I one beer in us would have led to a conviction under the “impaired” part of the statute. Having a badge does not grant special privileges. Or does it? I think you know the answer…

  • Joe in Missouri

    “two boys riding their bicycles on a sidewalk well past curfew.” If the boys had just listened their owners police state Marshall law edict they would be alive today.(Just kidding)

    How do you live under such tyranny? Is this what becomes necessary when you disarm everyone?

    • Gene

      Tyranny? Curfews are in place to keep kids off of the street at night. There is nothing good going on after midnight for kids. They could end up being victims or they will end up in trouble.

      • Gene

        Sorry Joe, I’m a Republican and believe strongly in a capitalist society. No socialist here.

      • Joe in Missouri

        THANK GOD you do not live in my State. Thank God….
        You certainly are a perfect example of the product of our government schools socialist brain washing. It looks like they are doing a great job at messing up minds.

  • Gene

    How the hell do you get charged with aggravated DUI after passing field sobriety tests and a breathalizer? Time frame is irrelevant in a court proceeding that is only concerned with proving things beyond a doubt. How the hell do you get charged with reckless homicide when you swerve to avoid the accident? The accident is 50% percent the kid’s fault for being out on the road after curfew. This officer is only guilty of leaving the scene, that’s it!!!

    • Jim Stevens

      I couldn’t agree more, Gene, .079 is NOT a DUI. I can’t believe the prosecuter would even take that evidence to court, especially when he passed the sobriety test. The four hour time frame theory sounds interesting, but unfortunately is still a theory. The actual breathalizer reading is the only evidence that’s relevant. Don’t forget, any doubt will deem the theory irrelevant. This sounds like another case of someone riding a bike into traffic and paying the ultimate price for their mistake. I think all of you haters just want to see a cop go down, or maybe you just don’t like black people.

      • Joe in Missouri

        It is SOP for prosecutors in cases against us mundanes to extrapolate alcohol content backwards in time in cases like this. You cop lovers also need to read the law. There is an impairment clause where just looking at alcohol can get you a DUI if the prosecutor so decides. Read the damn thing or shut up in defending this cop! He should get the same treatment that I would get by the system.

    • Afro

      One more thing there Mr. Green Gene(s)

      If you are his attorney or even a witness he’s fried lmao@u all you do is pizz people off with your rant not a good thing to do to a jury is it? Your boy needs to come clean and take his plea bargain just like all the other dirt bags that he has busted.

    • Afro

      He was obviously drunk and above the limit at the time of the incident, he was .079 4 hours after. You must be one of his covering up friends lol. How does it go? “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

    • Drunk Monkey

      What about his broken seal unlawful transportation and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident? He said he saw them before he hit the kid!

  • Bad Cop

    Fry this bacon

  • Joe in Missouri

    Throw the freaking book at him! If you don’t think that is fair change the laws so that we little people are treated the same as the cops.

  • Chivi

    Gene, shut the f__ up!! You are definitely on the wrong side of the LAW!!! Doesn’t matter if it’s a cop or not!! If it wouldn’t have been a cop, you would shift sides.

  • No longer waring the blues now he be singing the blues

    Charge the ones that waited four hours to give him a breathalyzer with obstruction of justice!!!!!!!!!!

  • oneluvjones

    what about the hard headed “kids” that snuck out of the house at 1:30 in the morning? that does mean they deserve to be run down by drunkards, but they certainly put themselves in harms way. Riding your bike on the wrong side of a very busy street late at night around alot of night clubs???? If the drunk cop didnt hit them somebody probably would have. this needs to serve as a message to other disobedient children who think they have life all figured out before they even reach highschool. My heart goes out to the PARENTS of this child and the family of the officer who has lost his career and probably his freedom.

    • Afro

      Yeah well thats why the age of accountability is 21 He being a police officer eventhough off duty should have checked up on the kids and told them to go home and call their parents. putting on that badge makes him a protector 24/7 on duty or not but doing the very thing he has put others in jail for makes him a hypocrite,. He is a law breaking POS. and that he is guilty of being by his own confession of having an open beer in the car while driving obviously he was drunk now he needs to come clean with the rest and take his plea bargain just like every other Lawbreaking POS. They should pizz test him too.

  • Joe in Missouri

    Want to hear my heart of hearts? If I were on a jury I would decide whether this accident would have happened if the driver were sober. In this case I would say there is a high likely hood that it would have considering the kids were acting as if they wanted to die.

    Most likely I would find the person innocent because the drinking did not cause the accident.

    This cop would fry however because he is using his position for special treatment and he would not get it from me. Guilty on all charges for a cop that wants to be treated differently than I would have been treated.



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