Mother of Deceased Bicycle Cop Wants [Illegal Alien] Driver Charged
Saturday, July 29, 2000
BY MICHAEL VIGH -- THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
The mother of a Salt Lake City police officer who was hit and killed last week by an out-of-control car blasted prosecutors Friday for the lack of charges -- so far -- against the driver.
Bicycle Officer Michael Dunman was killed at 1400 S. State S. on July 17 when he was hit by Yocundo Cruz-Silva's car. Cruz-Silva has been jailed since the accident.
Utah Highway Patrol investigators want him charged with negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
"[Dunman] died while serving the law and now I'm afraid that the District Attorney's Office will not allow the truth to be known and justice to be served," Shelley Dunman told reporters at the spot where her son died. "The [UHP] investigated this accident and I was informed that there was more than enough evidence to bring charges."
Dunman said prosecutors told her Friday that charges, if any, will not be filed until Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom returns from vacation on Monday.
Prosecutors have told The Salt Lake Tribune they are still gathering evidence and will make a decision about whether charges will be filed by early next week.
Dunman added she only wants to know the truth about what happened to her son. "If Mr. Cruz-Silva had been obeying the law, he would have not have been traveling at a high rate of speed on that fateful day. This action led to the death of my son."
Cruz-Silva has been held in both the Salt Lake County Jail and Summit County Jail on an Immigration and Naturalization Service detainer since the accident occurred.
The INS is investigating whether the Mexican citizen is legally in the country. On Friday, a federal judge in Denver left Cruz-Silva's bail at $15,000, which means he will not be able to post bond and leave the Summit County Jail any time soon, said his lawyer, Jose Luis Trujillo.
Trujillo said his client is also hopeful the District Attorney's Office will soon make a decision on charges. Cruz-Silva claims he veered toward the sidewalk after one of his tires blew out.
"We also want the truth to come out," he said. "We can see why the Dunman family wants a decision; this is hanging over my client's head and his family's as well."