City of Clear Lake files lawsuit for damages to police car


April accident sidelined police lieutenant


The City of Clear Lake has filed a lawsuit against two brothers in connection with an April accident in which a police car driven by Lt. Paul Chizek was struck by a truck.  The city is seeking an $8,890.36 judgment against Steven Orta, 21, and Ryan Orta, 29, both of Mason City, for damage to the police car.

At 2:11 a.m. April 19, 2013 Lt. Chizek was struck from behind as he drove his squad car east on U.S. Highway 18 near North 20th Street in Clear Lake.  Chizek was able to use his radio to summon help from other officers and the Clear Lake Ambulance Service. 

Clear Lake police officers and Cerro Gordo County deputies responded to his aid. They found that Chizek had been hit from behind by a truck registered to 29-year-old Ryan Orta.  Orta was a passenger in his truck, driven by 21-year-old Steven Albertcarr Orta.  Ryan Orta fled the scene on foot following the collision, but was soon apprehended by Clear Lake police.

Steven Orta was arrested for having no Iowa driver’s license, no insurance, following too closely and operating while intoxicated, second offense. His trial on the OWI charge is set for Aug. 27 in Cerro Gordo County District Court. His trial on the other charges is set for Aug. 30.

Ryan Orta was arrested for public intoxication. He pleaded guilty and was fined $200.

Chizek was treated at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa for a head laceration.  He was off work for approximately 10-days while recuperating from his injuries.

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