Tip From Mesa Resident Leads to Fatal Hit and Run Arrest
June 21, 2011
On June 19 in the early morning hours, Mesa Police responded to
the scene of a fatal hit and run collision involving two
pedestrians in the area of Country Club and Broadway. The two
victims were struck by the suspect vehicle as they attempted to
cross Broadway Road. Investigators had a very limited suspect
vehicle description and no information on the driver of the
vehicle. There was a witness who described the vehicle as a teal
green Honda passenger car (possibly a Honda Civic). Based on
roadway evidence, investigators believed that the side view
mirrors had been torn off the suspect vehicle and there would be
other visible front-end damage. As a result of this collision,
one victim (25-year-old Hispanic male) died from his injuries.
The second victim (25-year-old Hispanic male) is currently
listed in stable condition and is expected to recover from
serious physical injuries.
With little information to go on, investigators requested the
media be contacted for assistance in broadcasting information
about this investigation. Yesterday afternoon, a concerned Mesa
resident contacted police after hearing media reports of this
collision. She reported a suspicious vehicle parked in the
parking lot of her apartment complex. This vehicle, a green in
color Toyota Celica, had recently been left there and had
windshield damage, dents on the front fender, broken driver's
side window and both side view mirrors were missing.
When officers arrived at this location, there was a glass repair
company already there with a work order to replace the
windshield. This subject was able to provide officers with a
phone number he was given on the work order. Investigators were
able to contact the registered owner, who told them he had lent
his vehicle to a friend, Jose DeJesus Padilla-Rodriguez, on
Saturday night. His vehicle was not returned and
Padilla-Rodriguez told him the car had been stolen.
When investigators questioned Padilla-Rodriguez (shown in photo
below), he admitted to being the driver of the suspect vehicle.
He further told investigators that he was aware that he had
struck the pedestrians (he described them as a male and female)
and did not stop to render aid. At this time, traffic
investigators have still not located the missing portion of our
deceased victim's lower left leg.
Jose DeJesus Padilla-Rodriguez, 26, was arrested and charged
with two counts of Failure to Stop at a Serious Injury or Fatal
Collision, 28-661.A1 and two counts of Failure to Remain at a
Serious Injury or Fatal Collision, 28-661.A2 (both class 3