WRIGLEYVILLE — A man charged in a fatal hit-and-run in August was in another car crash seconds before hitting two women near Wrigley Field, killing one of them, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Brett Dimick, of Old Town, faces three felony charges, including reckless homicide and failing to report an accident resulting in death and injury in the Aug. 14 crash. Police and prosecutors said he was driving a gold BMW X3 and ran a stop sign at Addison and Fremont streets, drove up onto the sidewalk of Fremont and hit friends Sophie Allen and Nahiomy Alvarez. Allen, 27, died, and Alvarez was badly injured.
Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz set Dimick’s bond at $500,000 Tuesday, calling him a “significant danger to the community.” Prosecutors said Dimick’s driver’s license has been suspended since 2008 and was revoked in 2009.
Alvarez, who watched Tuesday’s court hearing remotely, told Block Club she was “feeling very relieved to see action on this case after waiting for so many months for something.”
“Knowing that this threat to public safety is now acknowledged is important,” Alvarez said. “I would hate to hear about another case like this or even similar to this happening, so seeing the way that Judge Ortiz and the prosecutor handled this feels like people are really committed to keeping this threat to public safety off the streets.”
Prosecutors said Dimick drove his BMW through a Shell gas station at the corner of Addison and Halsted streets before hitting a white Jeep that was going east on Addison. The crash was captured on video.
A few blocks west, Allen and Alvarez had stopped at Wrigley Field for pictures. Alvarez previously said Allen, who lived in Orlando, was visiting Chicago to celebrate being in remission from Stage 2 breast cancer during the pandemic.
Allen and Alvarez were walking into the intersection at Addison and Fremont when Dimick hit them, prosecutors said. Dimick then crashed into a metal fence on the west side of Fremont, got out of the driver’s seat, took off his flip-flops and ran, heading south on the street, prosecutors said.
A second person, who witnesses described as a Black man with dreadlocks, got out of the passenger side of the BMW and ran away on Addison Street, prosecutors said.
Surveillance footage recorded the BMW as the driver went west on Addison and the sound of tires screeching as the driver went through the stop sign, prosecutors said. The crash itself was not recorded.
A food delivery driver who was dropping off an order on Fremont saw the BMW’s driver take off his sandals and run barefoot, prosecutors said. Ring surveillance video from a nearby home also captured the sounds of screeching tires and the crash, then Dimick running past the delivery person, prosecutors said.
A second witness heard the crash and saw a white man running south on Fremont. The witness chased after the man but eventually lost sight of him, prosecutors said.
DNA samples from the sandals matched Dimick, prosecutors said.
A third witness saw a white man’s arm resting along the driver’s windowsill and a Black man with dreads in the passenger seat, prosectors said.
In arguing for lower bond, attorney Todd Pugh said Dimick surrendered to police Monday and he spent the past four months cooperating with their investigation.
“During that time, he did not obstruct that investigation, nor did he seek to flee the jurisdiction,” Pugh said. “He certainly knew this was an open investigation and that his arrest would be imminent.”
Pugh also questioned whether Dimick was the driver, saying at least two people were inside the car during the crash because three of its doors were seen open.
“In reading the state’s proffer and listening to what was said, it does appear as if only one individual is able to make an identification of Mr. Dimick fleeing the scene from the area of the driver’s door,” Pugh said. “I expect the investigation of this case may perhaps demonstrate that somebody else was driving the car.”
If Dimick posts bond, he’s not allowed to drive, communicate with Alvarez or any of the witnesses or consume alcohol or intoxicating or illegal substances, Ortiz said.
Dimick’s next court date is Jan. 3.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.