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Officer charged in fatal hit-and-run

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A nine-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Charlton McKay, is accused of killing a teenager, Edward Lucas, in a hit and run accident on the city's South Side last month.

Lucas was the captain of the sophomore basketball team at Morgan Park High School.

Officer McKay has been released on $300,000 bond. The fatal hit and run took place at 109th Street and Vincennes Avenue on the city's far South Side.

The family of Edward Lucas is thanking the Chicago police for handling the investigation quickly and professionally, even though it involved one of their own. The family is also grieving for their son who they say was hit by McKay's car like he was "a piece of trash." The police brass at 35th and Michigan are pointing out that even though Officer McKay is free on bond, he is off the job without pay, likely to be fired and facing some very serious charges.

"I think this is a classic example of how it proves that we will not tolerate this type of conduct. We are extremely, extremely upset that an officer or anyone would do something like this, but particularly an officer," said Dep. Supt. Hiram Grau, Chicago Police Department.

The felony charges against 33-year-old Charlton McKay, a veteran tactical officer with CPD, include reckless homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and filing a false police report.

Prosecutors say McKay initially denied driving the car involved in the accident, claiming it was stolen the day before, but his girlfriend later told police he admitted being involved in an accident after spending the early part of the evening drinking in a South Side bar.

McKay allegedly raced through a stop sign at 109th and Vincennes at 56 mph on the evening of September 22, killing 15-year-old Edward Lucas, a very popular student at Morgan Park High School who was walking across the street at the time.

"For you to just drive off the scene and not even stop, there's something wrong," said Erica McCray, victim's cousin.

"Any time that you get on the steering wheel, drinking and driving, you should suffer the consequences. This is what happens to some of our young people, get killed; guy hit and run because they were drinking," said Clint Towers, family friend.

"The lesson is that we expect our officers to be held to a higher standard, but they're human beings, too," said Grau.

McKay's attorney, Anthony Schumann, refused to comment on the case.

Officer McKay was not charged with any alcohol-related offenses, because he was not tested on the evening of the occurrence. Several weeks went by before he was arrested, but prosecutors point out that if he is convicted on the most serious of the felony charges against him, he is facing up to seven years in prison.

McKay is now free on a $300,000 bond, $30,000 posted by a family member. He is off the job without pay. There are likely to be proceedings filed against him soon to fire him soon from the police department.

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