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Driver charged in North Olmsted hit-and-run pleads not guilty

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 1:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A hit-and-run driver accused of leaving a 70-year-old North Olmsted man seriously hurt in the street pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Court Wednesday afternoon.

Court officials said Christopher Garcia, 37, failed to show up for court Tuesday afternoon, but appeared with his attorney Wednesday.

Garcia is charged with not stopping after an accident.

North Olmsted police said he was the driver in a hit and run accident on Jan. 17.
North Olmsted police said he was the driver in a hit and run accident on Jan. 17.((Source: North Olmsted police))

North Olmsted police said Garcia stuck Richard Ruscin around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17 and then fled the scene.

North Olmsted police said the driver of this Hummer hit an elderly man on Jan. 17.
North Olmsted police said the driver of this Hummer hit an elderly man on Jan. 17.((Source: North Olmsted police))

According to police, Ruscin was inside his Clague Road home when a car hit a utility pole.

Ruscin ran outside and while he was helping the first driver police said he was struck by Garcia’s red Hummer.

Paramedics rushed Ruscin to the hospital and started blood transfusions because he was bleeding internally. He also broke his femur, pelvis and sternum.

Police are questioning a 37-year-old Brook Park man.
Police are questioning a 37-year-old Brook Park man.((Source: North Olmsted police))

Ruscin still needs a walker to help him get around.

Garcia remains out on a $2,500 bond and is next scheduled court hearing is June 18.

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