A default judgment has been entered in Cerro Gordo County District Court against a man who was driving while intoxicated and struck a police car driven by Clear Lake Policeman Lt. Paul Chizek. The judgment awards $8,890.36 to the City of Clear Lake.
The city filed the suit against Steven Orta, 22, of Mason City, who was driving a pickup which struck Lt. Chizek’s vehicle just after 2 a.m. April 19, 2013 on Highway 18, Clear Lake.
According to court records, the default judgment was made because Orta did not file an answer or make a court appearance within 20 days of being served.
Ryan Orta, 30, owner of the vehicle and a passenger in the truck when it struck Chizek, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Ryan Orta responded to the court, asking it to dismiss the action.
After the Orta vehicle struck the police car the men ran from the scene, but were captured.
Steven Orta was charged with no driver’s license, no insurance, following too close and operating while intoxicated, second offense. He entered a guilty plea to the OWI charge and was sentenced to 365 days in jail. All but seven days of the sentence were suspended and he was placed on probation for one year and fined $1,850. The other charges were dismissed.
Ryan Orta was arrested for public intoxication. He pled guilty and was was fined $200.