Officer Has Setback After Hit-and-Run
CLEVELAND — The family of a Michigan police officer injured by a hit-and-run driver is pleading for the public’s help in finding the person responsible.
Robert Bielak, 46, lost his leg in the accident and was downgraded from fair to critical condition due to complications following surgery.
“He’s completely on a ventilator, he’s not breathing on his own,” said Bielak’s wife, Ginger.
“He’s not good, not good,” added his mother, Joanne Bielak.
Bielak’s family described his condition just two days after he spoke to Fox 8 from his hospital bed at MetroHealth Medical Center.
His wife, Ginger, said Thursday he suffered complications after surgery.
“When they went to clean up his wound and to close him up, he had a little setback, as they were taking the tube out of him, he vomited and then he aspirated,” she said.
Speaking of the accident prior to his downgraded condition, Bielak on Wednesday told Fox 8 News, “I no sooner got to the side of the road and I was impacted from behind, no brakes, no nothing. It was quite literally a highway speed impact.”
Bielak, a police officer in Pinckney, Michigan, and father of six, described how he had pulled over his motorcycle on I-71 Tuesday, when he was hit by a car that kept going.
The impact severed his leg, but he managed to create a tourniquet from his coat to prevent himself from bleeding to death.
One man who stopped to help coincidentally lives five miles from Bielak in Howell, Michigan.
Talking about the person who hit him, Bielak said on Wednesday, “This guy has got to feel it, he’s got to know it. His conscience has got to get the better of him.”
“If there’s a mother out there, who knows that her son was in an accident, that she needs to call the police department and turn him in because I’m appealing to her as a mother,” said Joanne Bielak.
“If you see anything, know anything, any little bit is helpful. It may be something useful and it may not, but every little bit helps, counts… and that’s what we want, for that person that left and was heartless to be found,” said the injured officer’s sister, Julie Juengling.
“He is a wonderful husband, father and son. He is a very good athlete, he always was,” said his father, Chester Bielak.
The Bielak family said they are grateful for the prayers and support they have received during their unexpected stay in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association has even set up a fund to help the family get through their ordeal.
“As a union, we just support other officers out of the state, and we hope that one of ours, if they were out of state and got in one of these accidents or tragedies, that we’d be supported, too,” said CPPA president Jeff Follmer.
“I was not expecting it at all, but I’m thankful to so many carrying people,” said Ginger Bielak.
For anyone who would like to donate, the fund is set up at the Cleveland Police Credit Union, located at 2301 Payne Avenue in Cleveland.
Cleveland police are looking for a 1990′s model beige metallic Buick with damage to the right front panel. It will also be missing a right hubcap and mirror.