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Hit & Run suspect smoked crack before crash
Rochester, N.Y. --- Police investigators claim that the suspected in last week's hit and run accident on Clifford Avenue told them she smoked twelve bags of crack cocaine before getting behind the wheel.
Keara Baker, 32, was arrested Monday and pled not guilty in Rochester City Court Tuesday morning. She faces felony charges that include Assault 2nd Degree and Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident.
Baker is also charged with numerous traffic violations including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 2nd Degree. That charge was filed because police say Baker's drivers license was suspended 23 times, many of those suspensions stem from her failure to pay fines or appear in court.
Baker is accused of striking a bicyclist on Clifford Avenue near Goodman Street around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. (July 23rd) The SUV involved in the incident fled the scene and police located that vehicle late last week.
Baker was apprehended Monday. The bicyclist, Mary Moore, 41, remains in guarded condition at the hospital with life threatening injuries. Her injuries, as described in court paperwork, include serious head trauma, broken hips, ribs, and spine, a ruptured spleen, and internal bleeding.
Court papers indicate that at least three separate video surveillance cameras recorded the incident and the video reportedly shows Baker striking the victim twice before fleeing the scene.
"Ms. Baker operating the vehicle initially struck the bicyclist on the side of the roadway, got out of the vehicle, stepped over the victim, dislodged the bicycle, got back into the car and in the process of leaving struck the victim a second time," explained Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Timothy Prosperi.
When discussing bail in court Tuesday morning A.D.A. Prosperi spoke of Baker's criminal history that dates back to 2002 and includes misdemeanor arrests for larceny, forgery, and assault. Prosperi also noted that Baker was apprehended on Monday only after she tried to self-admit herself to Rochester General Hospital using a false name. That triggered a police response and her arrest.
Baker's lawyer asked that the judge set bail and noted that Baker has a thirteen year-old and a one-week old newborn baby to care for.
The judge set bail at $100,000 cash or bond.
Baker is due back in court on Friday but a Monroe County Grand Jury is scheduled to hear evidence in this case on Thursday. If the grand jury votes to indict on new felony charges Baker's case could be turned over to a higher court.