Arrested: Hit-and-run driver accused of checking on girl after knocking her off bicycle

Police: Crimeline tip leads detective to car, driver

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – When a teenage girl on her bicycle was hit by a driver and knocked to the ground at a Titusville gas station, everyone around ran over to help, including the driver who hit her.

But seconds after mowing down the girl, who was riding her bicycle home from school past the Cumberland Farms on S. Hopkins Avenue in Titusville, the driver got back into his car and left, according to Lt. T.J. Wright of the Titusville Police Department.

"He leaves the scene," Wright said. "Doesn't call 911 or anything."

Wright, the lieutenant of the Traffic Homicide Unit at Titusville Police Department, said fortunately a witness did call 911, expressing disbelief that the driver was leaving the scene of the accident.

"Where's he going?" the caller told the dispatcher. "I hope he ain't leaving."

The caller told the dispatcher the driver was in a "blue convertible with a tan top" but was not able to provide a license plate number.

Police reviewed surveillance footage from the convenience store and another store nearby and discovered the blue car was recorded on video.

Detectives posted the picture of the car on social media and News 6 publicized it, resulting in an anonymous tip to Crimeline.

Wright said the tip led them to the Titusville home of Andrew Birmingham, who told them his license had been suspended for DUI and he does not drive.

Wright said he didn't buy it.

 "He (Birmingham) realized he didn't have a license so obviously the better option would be to leave the scene hoping no one saw him behind the wheel, got his tag, or cameras weren't working," Wright said.

Wright said his detective discovered the blue car with a tan top in Birmingham's driveway with damage to the car -- a cracked driver's-side headlight and scratches on the front bumper -- "indicative of hitting a bicyclist."

A witness and the bicycle rider picked Birmingham out of a photo lineup, Wright said.

Birmingham was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

According to Brevard County jail records, Birmingham has been arrested six times in the past five years for drugs and DUI, among other charges.

The bicycle rider survived and is OK.

Wright said the tip called in anonymously to Crimeline made all the difference.

"We trust that our community's going to do that, we have a good working relationship with them," Wright said. "And it allows us to get these Crime Results that we're looking for."

In Florida, a conviction of leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury or death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.