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 felonies).


Jose Padilla-Rodriguez







Mesa Police Department
Media Relations Office

PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

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