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RACINE – A Racine man is accused of using his van to strike and injure a male cyclist whom he accused of stealing his bicycle last week.

The Racine County District Attorney’s Office charged Ronald J. Watts, 53, with first-degree reckless injury and hit-and-run injury.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police responded to a report of a cyclist being struck by a vehicle on Albert Street on Thursday. The car, driven by Watts, was stopped in the 1200 block. The cyclist was transported by ambulance with an ankle broken in six places.

Watts told police that he saw the cyclist in the area of Mound Avenue and believed he was riding his bicycle. Watts said he returned home, saw this bicycle was missing, and went looking for the cyclist in his van. He then began to follow the bicycle in the van with his hazard lights on. Watts also said the cyclist made a U-turn in front of him, and he was unable to avoid hitting him.

A witness reports hearing the van’s tires squeal and stated that the vehicle was traveling 25 to 30 MPH and struck the bicycle. The witness also said that Watts got out, put the bike in his van, and assisted the cyclist to his feet. Watts then left the scene. Police also review the home surveillance video that showed the van accelerating toward the cyclist, the complaint stated. Watts was unable to prove ownership of the bicycle.

Watts was taken into custody Thursday. He made an initial court appearance on Friday where a cash bond was set at $400 and a signature bond was set at $1,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 20 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...