Hit-and-run driver deliberately ran over woman, criminal complaint states

Mother of hitandrun victim speaks

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The driver allegedly involved in a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 42-year-old woman intentionally ran over the victim, a criminal complaint obtained by ABC-7 states.

Las Cruces Police charged Angel Saenz Jr. with Aggravated Assault Against a Household Member Resulting in Great Bodily Harm, Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident resulting in Great Bodily Harm; and Resisting, Evading or Obstructing Arrest.

The court document states Saenz Jr. deliberately ran over Sonia Castillo, a household member, on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at the corner of Santa Fe and Organ Avenue. Castillo's exact relation to Saenz Jr. was not revealed in the document. 

The victim's mother told police Castillo suffered multiple skull fractures, a spinal fracture, and a broken neck. The mother told police her daughter is in critical condition at University Medical Center of El Paso. Police at the hospital with Castillo noticed the woman had tire marks on her abdomen, indicating she had been run over by a vehicle. 

Healthcare workers at the hospital allegedly found baggies containing an "unknown substance" in Castillo's vaginal cavity. The court document does not reveal if the substance was a controlled substance.

The criminal complaint states a man who lives on the 1300 block of Organ was doing yard work when he overhead argument nearby. Moments later, the man saw Castillo walking northbound on Santa Fe. 

The man also noticed a black Honda Ridgeline heading in the direction of the woman. The man went back to doing yard work when he allegedly heard a loud noise like an "object striking another object," the criminal complaint states.

Moments later, the man observed the Ridgeline speeding in the opposite direction Castillo was headed. The man found Castillo lying in the street. 

When police and paramedics arrived at the scene, they were able to identify Castillo with the help of identification cards. A background check revealed Castillo "had been associated with a black Honda Ridgeline registered to Angel Saenz Sr."  Police also found domestic violence reports involving Castillo and Saenz Jr.

Angel Saenz Sr. told detectives he owned the Ridgeline, but had given the vehicle to his son, Angel Saenz Jr, "some time back."

The night of the hit-and-run, a police officer spotted Angel Saenz Jr. driving the Ridgeline near Avenida de Mesilla and Hickory Loop. The officer attempted to pull Saenz Jr. over, but the suspect allegedly drove away.

A brief pursuit ended at the Olam Spices and Vegetables Plant located at 1650 W. Amador. Saenz Jr. parked the vehicle and allegedly ran away from the officer. 

On December 16, 2017, police located Saenz Jr. on the 5200 block of Hawkeye Place. Saenz reportedly agreed to speak with detectives and told them he was at a car wash the day of the hit-and-run when spotted Castillo walking by. 

Saenz Jr. told detectives he had recently bonded Castillo out of jail and wanted to make sure she showed up for her court appearance so she would not lose his bond money. Saenz Jr. and Castillo got into an argument and Castillo walked away from Saenz Jr., the court document states. 

Saenz Jr. said he went back for his truck and followed Castillo. At one point, he got out of his truck to speak with Castillo, but she allegedly began hitting him and throwing rocks at the vehicle. Saenz Jr. said he got back in his truck, but Castillo walked in front of his truck and threw a rock, breaking the windshield. 

Saenz Jr. told detectives he did not want any more damage to his vehicle, so he drove away. As Saenz Jr. was driving away, Castillo allegedly walked in front of the Ridgeline and Saenz Jr. struck her, the court document states. 

When detectives asked Saenz Jr. if he exited his vehicle to check on Castillo, Saenz Jr. allegedly said he did not because he was scared.  Saenz Jr. allegedly confessed to evading police the previous night, the court document states.


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