Reporting Bernie Tafoya
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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — In Naperville, a motorcyclist is dead after an alleged road rage incident he wasn’t even involved in.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Naperville police say Gerald Puglise, 63, was riding his motorcycle east on Ogden Avenue just after 5 p.m. Wednesday. He had the right of way as he was approaching River Road.
But police say 31-year-old Michael Moreno, of Plainfield, was chasing a 16-year-old girl driving a Honda, when he made a last-minute left turn in front of Puglise, who was riding a 2005 Triumph Rocket III motorcycle. Puglise slammed into Moreno’s silver 2006 Infiniti M45, and was killed almost instantly.
Moreno didn’t stop after the crash. He later flagged down a police officer — not to report the crash, but to complain about the teen driver he had been chasing.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
That teenager was not involved in the crash and was not charged. Further details of the incident between Moreno and that driver have not been released.
Moreno was arrested after police figured out he was responsible for the crash with Puglise, and charged Moreno with aggravated DUI resulting in a death, aggravated reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, which are all felonies.
Police said Moreno tested positive for marijuana. His bond was set at $750,000 at a hearing on Thursday.
Witnesses and police called it senseless.
Witness Brett Kaiser said, “It’s a loss of words, man. … I ride a motorcycle every day, you know, and it’s always the other people you gotta watch out for.”
Naperville Police Sgt. John Westlove said, “Unfortunately, with something as stupid as this – something minor that leads to … instead of just relaxing, taking it easy, and just ignoring the issue – it turns into someone passing, dying from the accident.”
Moreno also has a long list of traffic violations — 13 in the past four years.
The latest violations were an April 2011 ticket for speeding 15 to 25 miles over the limit, an October 2010 ticket for an accident involving property damage, and a May 2010 speeding ticket.
Moreno’s license has been suspended twice, between April and July 2011, and again from November 2011 to this past February.
Puglise’s family declined to comment on Thursday.