Student pleads ‘not guilty’ in hearing

By Joelle McGinnis

NIU student Clark Cavish pleaded not guilty Tuesday at a preliminary hearing Monday for allegedly striking a student with his car during the Oct. 21 Day of Action rally.

Duke Harris, assistant DeKalb County state’s attorney, said Cavish, 22, 824 Greenbrier Road, was granted a one-month continuance to allow time to consult an attorney on behalf of his defense.

Cavish could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Charges were filed against Cavish Nov. 4 by Art Zemke, 18, 143 Douglas Hall, for failure to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.

Cavish is accused of hitting Zemke at the intersection of Lincoln Hwy. and Carroll Avenue.

Zemke was among about 100 other students who blocked traffic on Lincoln Hwy. on the Day of Action.

The Day of Action was a state-wide student attempt to protest Gov. James Thompson’s budget cuts to higher education.

NIU action included a rally in the King Memorial Commons, from which some students proceeded to Lincoln Hwy. to protest further.

Zemke said he was injured when he was struck by a car and flung over its hood, ripping an earring from his left ear. He said the car kept going after it struck him.

A witness took down the license plate number.

A freelance reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times witnessed the accident and urged him to press charges, Zemke said.

Cavish turned himself in as the driver of the car a few days after the incident occurred.

Harris said a bench trial is scheduled for Cavish on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m.

A judge will hear Cavish’s defense and witnesses on behalf of Zemke, he said.

The charge filed against Cavish is a petty offense with a maximum fine of $500, Harris said. There is no jail penalty for the charge.