BLOOMFIELD, N.M. — A Visalia man is accused of nearly killing an elderly woman when he repeatedly drove back and forth over her with his SUV after shoplifting at a discount store in New Mexico.
On May 21, officers with the Bloomfield Police Department (BPD) responded to a call from Dollar General at 1502 W. Broadway in Bloomfield in reference to a shoplifting that led to a pedestrian being struck by the suspect’s vehicle. The woman received life-threatening injuries and transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center. After striking the woman, the suspect fled the scene on foot.
“The suspect turned a petty misdemeanor shoplifting incident into a violent felony case where an innocent victim was severely injured,” replied Bloomfield Chief David Karst. “BPD remains in contact with the victim and extends any help and support we can give to the family.” Officers located a man matching the description of the suspect off Ruth Lane. After viewing video footage of the incident and speaking with witnesses at Dollar General, officers confirmed the man in custody was the suspect from the Dollar General hit and run. The suspect was identified as Eddie Hernandez, 34 from Visalia.
Hernandez is being charged with two felonies for leaving the scene of the an accident after causing great bodily harm and reckless driving causing great bodily harm, as well as misdemeanors for failure to provide information or render aid at the scene of crash, driving without a license, and shoplifting.
Currently, the suspect is being held at the San Juan County Detention Center on No Bond. The Bloomfield Police Department is working with the District Attorney’s Office to ensure Mr. Hernandez remains in custody until his trial date. Chief Karst said he feels this is imperative to the safety of the community. Hernandez’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of May 30 in Aztec Magistrate Court in Farmington, N.M.
The investigation is still on-going. Anyone with any information pertaining to the incident, is aksed to call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622 and speak with the detective in charge.