CLEVELAND – Former Cleveland weatherman David Rogers stood expressionless before a judge on Saturday as he was formally charged with aggravated vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident, Action News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.
Rogers, 44, was arrested Thursday morning after he allegedly caused a serious accident on Interstate 480 and left the scene without stopping.
He entered an initial plea of not guilty.
Rogers' attorney, Joe Morse, asked the judge to set bail low because he said that his client was not a flight risk.
"He has three children and a wife of 12 years. He is gainfully employed and does have further ties to the community," Morse told the judge.
The judge, however, disagreed and said that Rogers (pictured in court, above) is in fact a flight risk because he's accused of leaving the scene of an accident. Thus, the judge set bail at $50,000.
Rogers posted bail and will now stay with relatives until his next court date, Morse told Action News.
"He's doing fine," Morse said.
Rogers worked at WKYC-TV during his time on the air in Cleveland. Currently, he is employed at WCBS-TV in New York City.
The incident in question happened just after 4 a.m. Thursday on I-480 westbound near the exit for Route 176 -- that's where a construction crew was busy repairing a guardrail.
Witnesses said that Rogers barreled his Range Rover into the construction zone, hitting two of the workers.
One of those victims, Brad Davis, 20, was critically hurt by the blow. He sustained internal injuries and two broken legs, and he had to be rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was initially listed in critical condition but has since been upgraded to serious but stable.
Davis is a college student who was working with the construction crew as a summer job.
The second victim was treated for minor cuts and bruises and released later in the day.
Construction crew chief Don Shantz told Action News that he went after the Range Rover once it was clear that its driver wasn't going to stop the vehicle. He didn't have to go very far, however, because shortly after the accident, Rogers pulled over with a flat tire.
Shantz said that when he told Rogers what he had done, the television personality acted unaware and said that he didn't realize anyone had been hit.
Police arrived shortly thereafter. They asked Rogers if he would take a breathalyzer test at the scene, but he refused. Officers said they were certain that they smelled alcohol on the suspect's breath.
WCBS-TV issued the following statement regarding the Rogers arrest:
"CBS 2 meteorologist David Rogers was involved in an automobile accident this morning while on vacation in Cleveland. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we cannot comment on the specifics of the case at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured in this incident.
"Mr. Rogers will not appear on the station's newscasts pending further investigation."