News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


ATV Driver Charged With Hit-and-Run with Police K9

ATV Driver Charged With Hit-and-Run with Police K9

Blaze the Collinsville police dog.

Belleview News Democrat via YellowBrix

February 04, 2011

COLLINSVILLE — A Collinsville man was charged with obstruction of justice Thursday after accusations that he ran over a police dog during a winter storm Tuesday.

James Michael Hughes, 29, of North Center Street was charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice. Hughes is accused of running over Blaze, a 3-year-old police dog, while operating an ATV in the street on Tuesday night.

Officer Mike Bauer said he was stopped at the side of the road giving Blaze a break when Hughes came down the street. Bauer said he waved his flashlight to warn the ATV driver, but the ATV swerved toward him. Bauer leapt out of the way, but Blaze was struck and flew about 20 feet. The ATV driver then fled the scene.

Detective Sgt. Eric Zaber said the operation of the ATV on a public street is a traffic misdemeanor, as is leaving the scene of the accident, so they will be lumped in with the felony charges.

However, Hughes is not being charged with injuring a police dog, which is a Class 4 felony in Illinois, punishable with one to four years in jail. Blaze suffered a bruised lung and trauma to his liver.

Zaber said that at the time, Bauer was driving an unmarked white SUV due to the weather instead of a marked police car, and Blaze was not wearing his police body armor he would ordinarily wear when going into a building on a search.

“They thought it would be challenging to prove that (Hughes) knew he hit a police dog,” Zaber said, referring to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s office. “It’s our understanding that he says he didn’t know it was a police dog.”

However, Zaber said Hughes provided false information to police when interviewed and attempted to conceal the ATV, which was the basis of the obstruction charges. Bail was set at $20,000.

Meanwhile, Blaze has been released from the animal hospital and is recuperating at Bauer’s home, Zaber said. He said the police department appreciates the community’s concern and support for the injured dog.

  • 20552_1343137337912_1215571721_31006460_5991340_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    So he says he didn't know Blaze was a police dog, so he hit him thinking it was a plain old dog. No animal cruelty charges? Throw the book at this lieing piece of crap!

  • John_groh_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Glad they got the guy. Hope Blaze fully recovers.

  • Me_and_partner_rex_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Guy should have to take a hit from Blaze (without a sleeve) for pay back! Feel better Blaze

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Hope Blaze recover quick.

  • Image_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This bastard knew EXACTLY what he was doing - Officer Bauer may have been in an unmarked unit, but he was wearing his uniform. As a former K-9 handler, this story makes my blood boil. I think when K-9 Blaze is feeling better, he should be given some "quality time" with the suspect

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    It DOESN'T matter if the officer wasn't in a marked vehicle and that Blaze wasn't wearing his vest. This guy swerved to toward the officer and his dog, and he should be punished. Officer Bauer even tried to warn Hughes and he still hit the dog. No, that was intentional, and he should be punished to the fullest extent.

  • Telecommunicator_rusch_max50


    over 3 years ago


    To me, it doesn't matter that the officer was in an unmarked car or that Blaze wasn't wearing his vest, he hit Blaze and left the scene!! He was reckless and should suffer the consequences...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I believe this man Hughes was trying to hit the officer instead hit the dog then left the scene before he was arrested for running an atv illegally on the streets. Also the man may have known who the officer was whether he was in his police car or not. I also figured both officers (him and his dog Blaze) was not out there to arrest anyone just help stranded people by the winter storm.

  • Bearcat_smoke-rgb_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Speedy recovery Blaze. Whether or not he knew it was a police dog is not an excuse for hitting a dog anyway!

  • Draped_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Get well soon Blaze

  • Gods_team_max50


    over 3 years ago


    It's a shame stupidity isn't a crime.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Poor Blaze,I hope your well soon.I also hope the nobody of a person gets just what he deserves.You don't go around hitting any animal.Police Dogs are part of or life saving and protection of our community.You'll be OK ,but he won't.He have a long time to think about what he did.And only God knows the outcome knowing of so many people loves for a animals Police Dog or not,even in a prison.God Bless You Blaze you are in my prayers.:-)

  • 19227-clipart-illustration-of-a-black-and-white-coloring-page-of-a-magical-flying-phoenix-bird_max50


    over 3 years ago


    aawww..poor dog....speedy recovery!!!!!

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Speedy recovery Blaze.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Prayers for a full and speedy recovery to Blaze. Hope the POS gets the max and pay the vet bills as well.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

IowaNinersFan submitted the article: "Man tries to smother ill dad, who later died", 1 minute ago.
IowaNinersFan submitted the article: "Man charged with wife's death on walking trail", 2 minutes ago.
IowaNinersFan submitted the article: "Social worker faces drug, misconduct charges", 3 minutes ago.
NCGirl2009 gave a thumbs up to The Article "Police officer delivers baby on bathroom floor", 5 minutes ago.