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Driver Who Struck Haiku Restaurant Employees Sentenced to 15 Years

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge John Connor today sentenced Michael Rose to 15 years in prison for running his SUV into several restaurant workers critically injuring two of them.

It took Judge John Connor several minutes to read Michael Rose's lengthy criminal record that dated back to the 1980s. Rose pleaded guilty last fall to multiple charges from the incident at the Haiku restaurant. The most serious involved critically injuring two employees from the Haiku. He struck them with his SUV as they tried to stop him for not paying a $100 check. Restaurant owner Julie Liu, according to her husband, still suffers from debilitating pain. Bartender Rachel Widomski, who was paralyzed, described her pain as "excruciating."

Judge Connor criticized the employees of the Haiku for not calling police and for serving alcohol to Rose who witnesses said was obviously under the influence. But the disease of alcoholism, Connor noted was no excuse for Rose's actions. He then sentenced Rose to 15 years in prison.

Rose will not be eligible for early release, Conner said. He'll be released from incarceration when he's 59 years old.