Newport man pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run in crash that injured teen bicyclist

A Newport Beach man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony hit-and-run on allegations that he drove off after crashing his Mercedes-Benz into a 14-year-old girl who was bicycling on the Balboa Peninsula in August.

Prosecutors allege that Anthony George, 37, hit the girl while she was riding a beach cruiser with a group of other bicyclists on East Bay Avenue near Anade Avenue at about 9:20 p.m. Aug. 11. The girl, who was visiting from San Carlos in the Bay Area, was not wearing a helmet, according to police.

The impact sent the girl into George’s windshield. Prosecutors say that instead of stopping to help, he left her seriously hurt on the side of the road.

Police said at the time that the girl was hospitalized with possibly life-threatening injuries. Authorities could not immediately provide an update on her condition Tuesday.

The crash sparked a search for the Mercedes and its driver. George turned himself in to Newport Beach police a day later.

In light of his surrender, George’s attorney asked Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Gannon not to impose bail in the case. But Gannon ordered George to post a $50,000 bond, which he did before leaving the courtroom Tuesday.

George declined to talk about the allegations.