Charlotte County bicyclist struck in hit-and-run; driver arrested

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Paul Cowherd, 36. Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a motorist who struck a bicyclist in a suspected DUI hit-and-run on State Road 776.

According to CCSO, the bicyclist was in the bike lane, and 36-year-old Paul Cowherd, of the Gulf Cove neighborhood, left the scene of the crash.

The bicyclist sustained numerous injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Charlotte County deputies were able to locate a side view mirror among the debris, which they identified as belonging to a black Dodge Journey.

Charlotte County deputies presenting a new bike to a bicyclist struck in a hit-and-run. Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

A vehicle matching that description was then located. While interviewing Cowherd, it was discovered that his license had been suspended, and deputies said his breath smelled of alcohol. Numerous bottles of Fireball whiskey were found inside the vehicle.

A folded dollar bill was located in the vehicle, which contained a white, powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

Cowherd was arrested. He faces charges of failing to remain at a crash, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI and two counts of knowingly driving with a suspended license.

CCSO gave the bicyclist a new bicycle donated by a local Walmart.

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