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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reward to find driver of SUV that allegedly struck bicyclist grows to nearly $17,000

Greg Germani, seen while biking and photographing the city for his website the Atlanta Time Machine, in 2006
  • CL File
  • Greg Germani, seen while exploring the city by bike and photographing locations for the Atlanta Time Machine, in 2005
The reward fund to find the driver whom police say intentionally hit bicyclist Greg Germani has swelled to nearly $17,000.

In the days since Germani, the creator of the Atlanta Time Machine website, was struck in Piedmont Heights, more than 150 people have contributed to the fund aimed at generating leads in the Atlanta Police Department's search for the suspect.

On June 9, police say, Germani was intentionally struck while pedaling in the northeast Atlanta neighborhood by a red Dodge Nitro after he and the vehicle's driver had a verbal dispute. Germani ultimately become wedged under another vehicle, where he was left with serious injuries. The early evening incident sparked an intense call by the community to locate the driver of the SUV, whom witnesses described as a black male under the age of 30.

Germani was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was last reported in stable condition. Greg's brother J.R. Germani told CL on Tuesday night that he's being treated for a brain injury and fractured vertebrate. In addition, Germani suffered a broken nose and "a couple" of broken ribs.

"It's been a long haul. A long arduous process," he said.

Germani's girlfriend Beth Ann Harrill is posting updates to her Facebook page and Atlanta Time Machine's community page on the social network.

In Harrill's most recent update, she says Germani is surrounded by cards and letters and that his family is trying to create an environment that "reminds Greg of all the things he loves." That includes "family photos, a Ray Price album cover... and a truly remarkable painting of a clown (flea market buy)" that Germani keeps in his workspace.

Reaction to Germani's injuries has been "overwhelmingly positive," his brother says. He thanked the website's fans, Germani's friends, and the community for the support, including the people who sprang to Greg's rescue.

"We're lucky it happened on a street with a lot of obviously caring people," he said. "A lot of them get lost in shuffle with all of this."

An APD spokesman said the investigation remains open and that officers have received - and are following up on - a number of tips. Police anyone with information that could help to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS. He or she can remain anonymous.

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