Solutions sought for transport issue

CLINTON — A Clinton man is facing a felony willful injury charge after being accused of running over another individual with his vehicle, according to court records.

Michael J. Rastrelli, 35, 30001/2 N. Second St., is charged with willful injury causing bodily injury, a Class D felony. A preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. June 22.

According to the affidavit, at 9:44 p.m. June 3, an officer was dispatched to the 2300 block of Garfield Street for a report of a hit and run. Officers found a male laying in the parking lot of the former Tasty Freeze Ice Cream Shop. The male was awake but dazed and was bleeding from the back of his head. A witness said he saw a silver Chevy Silverado speed down Main Avenue and turn south onto Garfield. The vehicle turned into the parking lot of the old Tasty Freeze. The witness heard a loud thump. The witness stated he did not hear or observe the vehicle brake hard before striking the male. The vehicle then quickly left the scene north on Garfield, court records state.

The affidavit states that while Clinton Fire Department personnel were treating the male and the officer was collecting witness information, dispatchers called saying Rastrelli called in claiming he struck the male with his pickup and would be en route to the scene. The officer made contact with Rastrelli upon his arrival. Rastrelli admitted to striking the male with his vehicle. Rastrelli stated he received harassing texts from the male since the first week of May.

Rastrelli was dating a friend of the male’s girlfriend. They had since broken up. Rastrelli’s ex-girlfriend told the male about the situation. The male messaged Rastrelli many times since May, making threats to him. The male continued the texts and Rastrelli asked the male where he was so they could fight. The male told Rastrelli he was at the old Tasty Freeze lot.

Rastrelli drove to the lot and struck the male with the front of his vehicle. Rastrelli estimated he was driving around 15 miles per hour when he struck the male. Rastrelli stated he was not trying to strike the male but as he pulled up he tried to put the truck into park too fast and was unsuccessful, at which time he hit the male with the vehicle. Rastrelli said after he struck the male he immediately backed up and left. He soon decided he had to call police to report the incident.

The affidavit states that officers inspected Rastrelli’s vehicle. The officer asked Rastrelli if there were any problems with the vehicle, such as brake or steering issues. Rastrelli stated the truck was in good working order and had little mileage for a vehicle of its age. An officer took Rastrelli to the Clinton Police Department where he was interviewed. Rastrelli showed the officer threatening texts from the male. He gave the officer consent to look at the texts and to download the text messages. The texts included the back-and-forth texts between Rastrelli and the male prior the the incident.

The male was flown by helicopter to Iowa City to be treated for a fractured pelvis, bowel contusion and a laceration to the back of his head.