Driver in July hit-and-run is arrested

Paquale Rulli was booked and released from the Elkhart County Jail in connection to the July 10 accident.
Posted on Oct. 24, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Pasquale Rulli, the driver who hit a 17-year-old girl on her bicycle back in July, was arrested Monday evening and bailed out of jail early Tuesday morning, according to the Elkhart County Jail’s website.

Zion Carlstrom of Middlebury was riding her bicycle with her younger brother south on C.R. 35 at 10:19 p.m. when she was hit by a car going the same direction.

Zion sustained injuries to her head and legs and was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. She was later transferred to a rehabilitation center in Indianapolis to receive therapy.

Probable cause was found for Rulli on Oct. 18, and he was charged with failure to return to the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury, a Class D felony.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Rulli had been working at his father’s restaurant, Rulli’s Italian Restaurant, July 10. He said he had one beer before leaving for his parents’ house around 8:45 p.m.

He told police that at his parents’ house he prepared to return to Fort Wayne. He had been living there because he was a student at Indiana University Fort Wayne.

Rulli was driving a 2008 Cadillac STS south on C.R. 35, and he was looking down at his iPod to change his music when he heard a loud bang.

Thinking he hit a deer, Rulli panicked, thinking his father would be upset with him for damaging the car. The car was towed the next day.

Later that same day Phil Miller, an attorney representing Rulli, contacted the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department to report his client was driving when he hit Zion.

According to an accident report from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, when Rulli was located he was asked if he would consent to a chemical test and he refused.

Rulli was jailed Monday evening after a warrant for his arrest was issued. He bailed out on a $3,000 bond. A court hearing has not been scheduled.

Correction: The initial story said Rulli took the car to a repair shop the next day. It was towed from Fort Wayne, where Rulli drove the car, and taken to an impound lot. We regret the error.

Accident Report for Rulli/Carlstrom

Probable cause affadavit for Pasquale Rulli

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