Prosecutors charge Wis. man in fatal hit-and-run

  • Associated Press
  • December 20, 2013 - 6:55 PM

APPLETON, Wis. — Investigators believe a Wisconsin man accused of killing a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash told his girlfriend he hit someone and wanted to keep the police out of it.

Post-Crescent Media ( reported prosecutors in Appleton on Wednesday charged 20-year-old James R. Erdmann Jr. of Poy Sippi with felony hit and run involving death.

Investigators believe 61-year-old Robert Joosten of Little Chute was riding his bike in Appleton on Nov. 9 when he was struck by a vehicle and died. Video surveillance from traffic cameras and local businesses showed a red truck in the area that investigators traced back to Erdmann's father.

The younger Erdmann told police on Nov. 15 he was driving the truck in the area at time of the crash on his way to pick up his girlfriend.

She told investigators that Erdmann called her and said he had hit someone but didn't see him. She said when he arrived at his girlfriend's home in Little Chute he told her the man was still moving as he drove away. She said he said they needed to hurry to his residence because he didn't want the police to get involved.

Online court records didn't list an attorney for Erdmann.

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