Gary judge translates crash details
by Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3258 February 25, 2013 5:34PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 6:25PM
GARY — When Patrolman Willie Oliver arrived at a crash Aug. 12, 2011 near Cline Avenue and Industrial Boulevard, he needed an East Chicago Fire Department medic to translate one driver’s information.
In his report, Oliver wrote that Tomas Mujica, 34, of Chicago, was driving his mother’s car, with her as a passenger, when the crash occurred. Mujica couldn’t produce a driver’s license and was charged with driving without one.
At his bench trial Monday, Gary City Court referee Itsia Rivera translated. He admitted that the car belonged to his mother but denied ever being in Indiana. He blamed a friend who lived with him and his mother at the time, but apparently doesn’t live there now. Mujica testified he guessed it was his friend who crashed because “he said he was arrested.”
Mujica gave a vague description of his friend and said they don’t look alike. Oliver identified him in court as the driver.
Although he first said he holds a license in Mexico, Mujica later admitted it was just an identification card and that he is not in the United States legally.
Rivera found him guilty of being in a crash without a valid license and sentenced him to 10 days in jail or a $100 fine plus court costs.