MALDEN — A 76-year-old Stoneham driver accused of running over a motorcyclist Sunday morning at a Melrose intersection and then fleeing the scene admitted to police that he hit the bike, but said he does not remember what happened to its rider.
His statement contradicts witnesses who said he apologized to the injured man riding the yellow Harley Davidson.
According to Melrose police reports filed Tuesday in Malden District Court, Eugene Ledonne was waiting at a red light in the northbound lane of Main Street at the intersection with Franklin and Green streets, behind a motorcyclist who was first at the intersection.
“The light turned green, and the motorcycle was in front of me and was not moving so I went, and I hit the motorcycle,” Ledonne told police, according to the report.
“The bike fell and then I stopped the car at some point and got out and I got back in the car and backed up because of traffic and then I blacked out,” he said.
The motorcyclist, identified in court records as Anthony V. Albano, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries. Associates said Albano is from Everett. On Tuesday afternoon, he was listed in stable condition, according to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.
Ledonne is charged with leaving the scene of personal injury and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
A not-guilty plea was entered on Ledonne’s behalf by his lawyer, Paul R. Chomko, during a brief arraignment in Malden District Court Tuesday. He was released on $300 bail, and Judge Matthew Nestor barred Ledonne from driving and ordered him to stay away from the motorcyclist.
The interview Ledonne gave to police came after officers tracked the gray Hyundai sedan he was driving by using a partial license plate number given to police by a witness. Police found the car registered to a Gerald Road address in Stoneham, where Ledonne was a resident. When police arrived, they saw a gray sedan that matched the plate information and showed front-end damage, according to police.
But Ledonne’s statements to police differ from accounts of bystanders at the scene.
Witnesses at the intersection told police that Ledonne ran over the motorcyclist, backed up over the injured man at least once, and got out of his Hyundai sedan and said “I’m sorry,” as the man lay hurt in the roadway.
Melrose police said a bystander at the scene snapped a cellphone photo of Ledonne standing over the injured man.
In his statement to police, Ledonne said: “I do not remember anything else. I do not remember what happened to the driver [of the motorcycle].”
Records provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles show Ledonne’s license was indefinitely revoked following Sunday’s accident because authorities deemed him an immediate threat to public safety.
Ledonne has been involved in two accidents in Stoneham in which he was said to be at least 50 percent responsible — one in 1983 and again in 2006 — according to the registry. He also was charged with two moving violations in Stoneham, both for failure to stop, in 1994 and 2004. His license was suspended in 1995 for failure to make payments to the registry; his registration also was suspended for failure to pay.
Ledonne is due in court Sept. 26 for a pretrial hearing.
Matt Byrne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org