A man accused of demolishing a downtown Bowling Green parklet with his vehicle has pleaded not guilty.
Timothy Koogan, 65, of Bowling Green, appeared Wednesday in Bowling Green Municipal Court.
He has been cited for failing to maintain reasonable control, which is a misdemeanor and has a fine of up to $150, and leaving the scene of an accident, a first-degree misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time of 180 days.
The hit/skip charge also carries a mandatory six months to three years driver’s license suspension, said court Magistrate Tom McDermott.
He also could be placed on community control for five years, McDermott said.
Koogan on Wednesday asked for a court-appointed attorney.
McDermott continued the case until July 21 but said that the attorney likely will set a new pretrial date.
“Your job leaving here today is to get ahold of your lawyer ASAP,” McDermott said.
If he doesn’t have a lawyer before July 21, Koogan has to reappear at municipal court on July 21, McDermott said.
Koogan has appeared in municipal court 22 times since his first citation was recorded in 1993, according to cases listed on the municipal court website. Eighteen of those cases involved a traffic violation, including a previous hit/skip charge in August 1994.
He has two counts of driving under suspension, one in 2018 for driving without insurance, and one in 2010. Both cases were dismissed.
The parklet is an outdoor dining area that expands into the parking area. Three were recently installed in downtown.
The one in front of Kabob It, 132 E. Wooster St., was struck on July 1 at 4:48 a.m. The vehicle left the scene.
Downtown surveillance video captured the crash. It shows a silver Toyota RAV 4 southbound on North Main Street, then turning eastbound onto East Wooster Street.
The video shows the SUV strike the parklet.
According to the Bowling Green Police Division report, officers began searching the surrounding area for the suspect vehicle. According to the accident report, detectives found the vehicle parked at 215 E. Poe Road at 7 a.m. It was a match to the one in the video and had damage to the front passenger side, the report said.
When located, officers spoke with the owner, who was identified as Koogan.
In the police report, Koogan stated that he went to a downtown bar the night before and left at 10:30 p.m. He said did not recall striking anything. He said no one else drives his car and no one else has a key to it.
Koogan stated that he had stopped drinking when he left the bar and kept asking officers what a parklet was, according to the police report.
He also reportedly said that he could not remember anything and had left his drink alone at the bar for a few minutes. Koogan inquired about getting tested for drugs that would make him black out, the police report stated. The officer told him that the hospital could test for drugs; Koogan refused an ambulance, according to the report.
Two pieces of clear headlight plastic, left at the scene of the crash by the RAV 4, matched the missing pieces on the front passenger side of Koogan’s vehicle, according to the police report.