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Driver charged for hit-and-run that injured cyclist

EL CAJON, Calif. — A man was charged Thursday with felony hit-and-run for allegedly hitting a bicyclist with his SUV in Ramona — seriously injuring the woman — then fleeing the scene, authorities said.

Chase E. Richard, 34, of Ramona is accused of hitting 53-year-old Michelle Scott from behind on state Route 67 near Dye Road about 6:15 a.m. Oct. 2, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Richard allegedly drove away with the bike stuck in his 2019 Ford Edge’s front grill.

Medics airlifted Scott to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. Her current condition is unknown.

Acting on a tip from the public, on Monday, CHP investigators tracked down Richard’s damaged SUV in a residential garage in the San Diego Country Estates subdivision of southeast Ramona and seized it as evidence.

Richard was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in the 16000 block of Swartz Canyon Road, about six miles from the crash site, CHP public affairs Officer Jeff Christy said.

Richard pleaded not guilty in court Thursday. Prosecutors said he faces nine years in prison if convicted on the charges. He is being held on $1 million bail and will return to court Oct. 18 for a readiness conference and bail-review hearing.

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