Bicyclist Pulling Child in Buggy Crashes, Faces Charges

Posted on: 3:39 pm, August 25, 2013, by

Mark Fochtman

A West Fork man is facing multiple charges, including two felonies, after police said he crashed his bicycle while pulling his 4-year-old son in a buggy Saturday night.

Mark Fochtman, 29, was booked in the Washington County Detention Center on Sunday morning and is being held on $5,000 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office website. Fochtman faces felony charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and fleeing in addition to several misdemeanor charges.

Fayetteville police officers responded to a call from Washington County Medical Center about a man who had put his child in danger by riding bicycle while intoxicated, a preliminary police report said. Officers found Fochtman in the emergency room and said he “appeared heavily intoxicated” with bloodshot eyes, poor balance and a strong smell of alcohol, the report said.

Fochtman told officers he had taken his son to a bar for about 4-5 hours and when he left the bar he was on a bicycle pulling his son in a buggy behind him, the report. Fochtman said a car pulled out in front of him and he crashed into it, and his son was thrown to the pavement, the report said.

Officers said the son had bruises and abrasions on his forehead and right arm and minor scratches on his cheek, the report said.

The report said Fochtman closed his eyes and refused to open them when officers attempted to administer an eye test on him, and Fochtman said his eyes closed involuntarily because he had Tourette syndrome. Officers placed Fochtman under arrest for a warrant from Springdale for a revocation of a suspended sentence, the report said.

Other officers used Fochtman’s cell phone to locate a family member who could get the 4 year old, but the report said officers were unable to find someone sober enough to report to the hospital. A hospital staff member then put Fochtman’s arm in a splint because of a fracture sustained in the accident, and officers removed Fochtman’s son while the procedure was done, the report said.

Hospital staff then told officers Fochtman had left his room, the report said. Officers later found Fochtman near a bike trail less than one mile from the hospital, the report said.

The child turned over to the Department of Human Services.