Calif.: Motorcycle cop's leg severed in accident
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Copyright 2005 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
Eric Batchelder, 31, a five-year officer, had civilian clothing on over his patrol uniform when he was hit shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, police said. He was on a private motorcycle, but was considered on duty.
Batchelder, assigned to Mission Station, was driving south on Potrero Avenue when a 1970 Dodge Charger heading the other way hit him as the car was turning west onto 20th Street.
The driver of the Charger, Fernando Rodriguez, 29, drove off, parked his car at his home nearby and walked back to the accident scene, police said. He was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run driving.
Batchelder was recovering at San Francisco General Hospital. Doctors were not able to reattach the severed limb and had to amputate below the knee.
Capt. John Goldberg of Mission Station said Batchelder had been heading to the Bayview to do patrol work because of problems out there.
Officer Maria Oropeza, a police spokeswoman, said Batchelder had been scheduled to work with a specialized enforcement detail formed in response to a recent spate of homicides.
The department implemented the high-visibility street enforcement strategy last week, sending more officers to the Bayview, Ingleside and Western Addition.
Goldberg called Batchelder's accident "a terrible tragedy. He's very dedicated, loves the job."
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