A Missouri police officer is under investigation after video appears to show the officer driving–and making a turn–while using his cell phone before crashing directly into a stopped cyclist.
A crash report issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows that the incident occurred on Thursday, June 26 in Peculiar, Missouri.
The video is titled, “Cop Distracted By Phone Hits Me Head On.” This straightforward description is more or less an accurate account of what can be seen in the footage.
Cyclist Joseph Fasanello rides his bike down a fairly barren stretch of asphalt. The video is shot from his helmet cam’s perspective. Eventually, Fasanello stops at an intersection. And that’s when things go awry.
As Officer Charles Wallace makes a left turn, Fasanello and his bike are struck head-on by the white police SUV bearing the insignia of the Peculiar Police Department. Immediately, Fasanello shouts:
Why the fuck were you looking at your phone, officer? [sighs] Motherfucker.
Officer Wallace mouths something inaudible before parking his vehicle down the road and walking back. Fasanello then asks, “Why were you texting?” To which Wallace replies, “I wasn’t texting, I was looking at my phone.”
Fasanello counters, “Either way.” Wallace concedes, “I know. It was my bad.” Fasanello then implores, “Why were you doing that in a turn?” Wallace again admits, “I wasn’t paying attention.” Fasanello sighs and says, “Officer, holy shit, dude.”
After a brief inspection of potential abrasions and whatnot, both Fasanello and Wallace agree that the former is not seriously injured. Fasanello does note that his bike is “most likely toast.”
In a later interview with KCTV-5 Kansas City, Fasanello termed Wallace an “irresponsible moron.” The pained cyclist elaborated:
I was struck head-on by a local police officer using his cell phone. He received a text from a fellow officer and decided to read that while making a turn onto my road. I was stopped…there is no excuse to use your phone at the wheel.
Peculiar Police Chief Harry Gurin noted Officer Wallace’s current status. He said, “The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Until the investigation is complete, the officer is suspended with pay, which is standard.”
[image via screengrab/YouTube/Joe Fas]