February 8, 2002

Man Charged for Rhodes Accident

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Five days after Frank H.T. Rhodes, the University’s president emeritus, was injured in a motor vehicle accident walking outside his Naples, Fla. home, police have arrested the man who allegedly hit him.

In the official police report regarding the case. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department arrested 22-year-old, Jose Suarez of Bonita Springs, Fla. for the crime and charged him with leaving the scene of a “personal injury accident,” operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, as reported in a University statement.

According to the report, Suarez struck Rhodes at 7:55 a.m. while driving a van accompanied with two other passengers. Suarez then left the scene of the crime but an unidentified witness was able to distinguish the make and model of the van along with its license plate number.

Police issued an alert for the vehicle, described as a 1988 gray Ford van, roughly a half-an-hour after the accident. Less than a half-hour later, police spotted the vehicle and pulled Suarez over, according to the report.

Rhodes is still recovering in the hospital and officials there have not released a time-frame for when he may be released.

“It’s hard to say,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of the Cornell News Service. “He’s under treatment and has been communicating with [the University].”

Archived article by Carlos Perkins