The rich? Still different
Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 just east of Miller Ranch Road, when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving. Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say.
Erzinger allegedly veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo from behind. Milo was thrown to the pavement, while Erzinger struck a culvert and kept driving, according to court documents.
Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town's roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.
Erzinger told police he was unaware he had hit Milo, court documents say.
When Avon police arrived he was putting a broken side mirror and a bumper in his trunk, court record say.
Meanwhile another motorist, Steven Lay of Eagle, stopped to help Milo and called 911.
Court records say prosecutors expressed skepticism to Milo at a suggestion by Erzinger's defense attorneys that Erzinger might have unknowingly suffered from sleep apnea, and that might have made him caused him to fall asleep at the wheel and hit Milo.
Pretty straight forward so far. Erzinger is the driver, Milo the guy on the bike. Erzinger doesn't deny hitting Milo, but claimed to be "unaware" of the incident. His lawyer suggested perhaps "sleep apnea" was to blame, but also does not contest that his client was driving the car that struck the bicyclist.
A little background about the victim:
Milo suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula, according to court documents. Over the past six weeks he has suffered “disabling” spinal headaches and faces multiple surgeries for a herniated disc and plastic surgery to fix the scars he suffered in the accident.
“He will have lifetime pain,” Haddon wrote. “His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession — liver transplant surgery — has been seriously jeopardized.”
And some about the accused:
Erzinger, an Arrowhead homeowner, is a director in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver. His biography on Worth.com states that Erzinger is “dedicated to ultra high net worth individuals, their families and foundations.”
Erzinger manages more than $1 billion in assets. He would have to publicly disclose any felony charge within 30 days, according to North American Securities Dealers regulations.
You can tell where this is going, right?
A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.
Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, faces two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a July 3 incident when he allegedly hit bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo from behind then sped away, according to court documents.
Milo and his attorney, Harold Haddon, are livid about the prosecution's decision to drop the felony charge. They filed their objection Wednesday afternoon, the day after prosecutors notified Haddon's office by fax of their decision.
. . .
Milo wrote in a letter to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert that the case “has always been about responsibility, not money.”
“Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,” Milo wrote. “Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.”
Hurlbert said Thursday that, in part, this case is about the money.
“The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,” Hurlbert said. “Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.”
Hurlbert said Erzinger is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.
“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.”
“We have talked with Mr. Haddon and we had their objections, but ultimately it's our call,” Hurlbert said.
Dropping the felony charge is not a revelation, Hurlbert said.
“We had been talking with them about this misdemeanor disposition for a while now,” Hurlbert said. “The misdemeanor charges really are what he did.”
Hit and run is a misdemeanor?
Not if the accident results in "serious bodily injury to any person."
How often do you hear a public servant drop the bullshit and say, flat out, this guy is being treated differently because he's rich?