Police say deadly hit and run started with drug deal gone bad

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A deadly hit and run in Moline was the result of a drug deal gone bad, and according to police testimony at a hearing Tuesday, there was no evidence the victim was run over on purpose.

Moline police officer Tim DeVrieze testified that investigators believe Mr. Pohl was buying pot from Stephen Smith in an alley outside the Belgrade Tavern and Teskes. Pohl walked up to Smith’s white Chevy Blazer to make the purchase, and handed Smith the money.

At some point, Pohl ”grabbed onto the door and tried to hang onto the door”, when Smith drove off.

Smith’s attorney Jack Schwartz says why Pohl reached for the car and hung on is still unclear, and there are still a lot of questions over what happened the night of February 22nd.

”Did Mr. Pohl contribute to his own demise? Did Mr. Pohl slip and fall and then got swept under the vehicle? There are all kinds of factors to be considered. It’s not clear if my client (Smith) was selling drugs and then Mr. Pohl was trying to rip him off, and not pay? It doesn’t sound like he was mowed down. It sounds like he fell underneath the tire and the tire ran over him. There was no damage to the front of the car”., Schwartz said after court.

Sgt. DeVrieze also testified that an off-duty nurse and her son found Mr. Pohl lying in the alley that night. She tried to perform CPR, while her son says he saw a white SUV speeding away from the scene. Minutes later, sources say, the SUV returned to the scene and asked the young man if the ”guy was okay?”, then took off.

Pohl had tire tracks on his chest, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Smith is charged with reckless homicide and two lesser charges, and plead not guilty.

He is still in jail. His attorney asked the judge to lower his bond from $100,000 to $50,000 because he is ”an admitted alcoholic and is going through withdrawl”, and hopes to get him into an alcohol treatment program.

Judge Jeffrey O’Connor said a bond hearing will have to be set at a later date.