Opp drops charges, details pediatrician’s driving record

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Charges against a local pediatrician who was convicted two weeks ago in municipal court for multiple traffic offenses will be dropped –once he completes driving school.

Dr. Bang

Dr. Bang

Dr. Bhagwan Bang was charged and convicted of reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle from an incident last September.

Bang told the Star-News that he was on the way to Andalusia Regional Hospital to help a newborn who was not breathing. That child died a few days later.

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Bang was stopped by Opp Police officers, who pursued.

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying Dr. Bhagwan Bang has a history of prior traffic issues.

“According to public records, Dr. Bhagwan Bang has been ticketed multiple times by multiple agencies in the approximately last nine years,” McDonald said.

In addition to the September 2014 charges, McDonald released the following tickets:

• In 2006, for going 83 mph in a 45 mph zone in Andalusia. He pleaded guilty;

• In 2006, for going 90 mph in a 45 mph zone on Airport Road. He pleaded guilty;

• In 2008 for speeding in Macon County;

• Multiple speeding tickets in Florida;

• In 2012, for going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone in Opp;

“Prior to the 2014 incident, Dr. Bang was previously allowed to attend driving school in connection with a ticket that he received in Opp so that the citation would not go on his driver’s record,” McDonald said. “Before the 2014 incident, Dr. bang was specifically urged by me to drive more responsibly in order to avoid traffic violations and a potential tragedy.”

McDonald said that Dr. Bang had previously been stopped and claimed he was on his way to an emergency, but when he was followed the doctor did not go to a hospital.

Dr. Bang said Tuesday afternoon he agreed to the deal because he is tired of the distraction caused by his story and wants to focus on his practice.

He said the 2006 charges are related to a call from a mother whose child was sick. He said he didn’t go to the emergency room – he met the mother and child in his office because she couldn’t afford to go to the ER.

Bang told the Star-News two weeks ago that officers detained him for about 15 minutes during the October, 2014 stop. McDonald disputed those claims and said that his officers only held Bang for four minutes, 20 seconds.

McDonald said that City Prosecutor Larry Grissett and Bang’s attorney David Baker worked out the deal.

“I’m glad the city dropped the charges once they knew this was a medical emergency,” Baker said. “The city made the right decision in dismissing the charges.”