Man accused of hit-and-run involving cyclist in NE Portland: 'I' - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of hit-and-run involving cyclist in NE Portland: 'I'm not a criminal'

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Rodney Lopes, left, in court Monday. Rodney Lopes, left, in court Monday.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Rodney Lopes is a blues singer from California, doing some performances in Portland. But on Monday, he was center stage in Multnomah County Court, facing charges of felony hit and run. 

Lopes talked exclusively to FOX 12 on Monday.
 
“It’s just the first time I ever had anything happen like this. I’m not a criminal," he said. 
 
Lopes said he made a big mistake last Thursday night. He was driving in northeast Portland when he said cyclist Aleah Greene was in his blind spot and he accidentally hit her. Lopes pulled over right away.
 
“I said ‘Are you OK?’  She said, ‘I’m ok’.  I said, ‘Well, do you have to call the cops?’  She said 'yes.'  Then I got paranoid because I have no license and I’m not from this area," Lopes said. 
 
Greene snapped a picture of Lopes and then he left the scene. A description of Lopes’ white van started making the rounds on social media and cycling blogs. 

On Friday, a man spotted the van parked near Greene’s house.  She called police while FOX 12 confronted Lopes. He denied knowing anything about the accident and walked away. 

Two hours later, he turned himself in to police and went to jail.
 
“It was bad judgment on my part, but I came to turn myself in, I’m here in court and I respect the law," he said. 
 
Lopes performs under the name Sunny Blue Bland. He said he has a great respect for cyclists and rides a bike himself. 

As a visiting musician, he wants Portlanders to know that he deeply regrets what he did. He said he's so relieved Aleah Greene is OK and he wants to make things right with her.
 
“I apologize to her personally and whatever I have to do, buy her a new bike, whatever I have to do to make this go away," he said. 

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