Court finds Hammond killer Komyatti at fault in bike crash

2013-05-13T18:07:00Z 2013-05-14T13:59:06Z Court finds Hammond killer Komyatti at fault in bike crashDan Carden, (317) 637-9078

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a Hammond native brutally disfigured in a bike accident, one month after finishing 27 years in prison for his role in the 1983 murder of his father, has only himself to blame.

Paul Komyatti Jr., now 48, was drunkenly riding a bicycle on the wrong side of an Indianapolis road on June 19, 2010, when he allegedly hit a pothole, flew over the handlebars and smashed his face on the street.

Court records detail that Komyatti's nose was sheared from his face, his chin broken in two places and his upper lip sliced off. He lost 12 bottom teeth and half his tongue, broke both eye sockets, tore facial muscles and fractured more than 50 facial bones.

He sued the city of Indianapolis and Citizens Energy Group, a utility company, alleging their negligence in maintaining the road and an adjacent property produced the pothole that caused the wreck.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court rejected that claim, upheld the judgment of the trial court and ruled in favor of the city and utility.

The Court of Appeals said Komyatti's conduct — biking at least 20 mph downhill against traffic with a blood alcohol content of .137 — led to his injuries.

Komyatti was 17 on March 20, 1983, when he held down his abusive, alcoholic father's legs while his brother-in-law, William Vandiver, stabbed Paul Komyatti Sr., at least 34 times with a fish-filleting knife. Evidence indicated the victim still was alive when Vandiver decapitated him as he lie in bed.

Komyatti then helped Vandiver place the dismembered remains in trash bags and toss them along the Lake Michigan shore, where they later were discovered. Vandiver was executed in 1985.

Komyatti was freed May 20, 2010, after the Indiana Parole Board rescinded its August 2009 revocation of Komyatti's parole.

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