WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A man has been arrested for allegedly running over a person in West Valley City on July 12.
The Unified Police Department has arrested the suspect, Esteban Manuel Martinez Perez, 42, on four charges including aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, criminal mischief, possession or use of a controlled substance and failure to remain at an accident scene involving serious injury.
On July 12, police responded to an apartment complex where the victim, an adult male, had been struck and injured by a hit-and-run crash.
Police say Perez’s pickup truck had driven through a fence at the apartment complex, causing about $1,000 in damages before fleeing the area.
The victim was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Police say his injuries made it difficult for officers to interview or speak with him.
Security footage and eyewitness accounts helped officers identify and locate Perez at a West Valley City residence. When authorities arrived at the home, they found Perez inside the wanted pickup truck and took him into custody.
Police found a “user amount” of methamphetamine in Perez’s pocket. During questioning, he admitted to having an “altercation” with the victim at the apartment complex, but claims he didn’t realize anyone was hurt.
Perez claims the victim was throwing rocks at his truck from over a wooden fence at the time. As Perez was seated inside his truck, he allegedly stepped on the gas and drove into the fence, feeling his “vehicle bounce and bump over debris.”
He told police he thought the victim had “run off” because he couldn’t spot him anywhere until he “drove back a few minutes later.”
Perez claims he “wasn’t trying to kill” the victim, but “knew that he could have injured him as he drove through the fence. He just wanted [the victim] to leave.”
The suspect also admitted to using methamphetamine the night before his arrest. Perez has been arrested on four charges and is currently booked at the Salt Lake County Jail.