A driver is facing charges after hitting a child on a bicycle Thursday, police said. The 11-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit and dragged underneath an SUV, police said. The SUV's driver failed sobriety tests and admitted to having two drinks, according to an arrest affidavit.
Aurora Police Department (APD) said Hector Eduardo Garcia, 32, was arrested after the incident around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday near North Chambers Road and East 13th Avenue.
APD said the initial investigation found 11-year-old Caleb Ingelhart was riding his bicycle on the southbound sidewalk of North Chambers Road when he used the crosswalk to cross East 13th Avenue.
The affidavit said multiple witnesses reported seeing a GMC SUV turning right at a red light onto northbound North Chambers Road from East 13th Avenue and not stopping for the child, who was riding his bicycle in the crosswalk.
APD said witnesses reported seeing Ingelhart and the bicycle being dragged a "significant distance" under the SUV while drivers yelled and honked for Garcia to stop, which he eventually did.
One witness reported seeing Garcia hide "a can booze of some sort" in the back of the SUV when he got out, before assisting with Ingelhart, according to the affidavit.
APD said witnesses reported having to lift the SUV and pull the bicycle out before they could get Ingelhart out.
Garcia's eyes were red and glossy, an officer said in the affidavit, and Garcia told another officer he had "two Smirnoffs" about an hour prior, and a Budweiser sometime during the morning.
The officer also reported that Garcia failed multiple aspects of a voluntary roadside test, including a lack of balance and not following directions correctly.
Garcia was then taken into custody, and the affidavit says officers discovered his license was suspended.
An officer who spoke to Garcia reported he admitted to stopping at a red light before continuing on, and denied seeing the child in his path, the affidavit says.
Garcia also claimed that another witness actually hit the child first, but the affidavit says no other witnesses reported that.
According to the affidavit, Garcia thought his tire might have been messed up when his car was bumping around, and denied opening his door to look around. When officers told Garcia a witness saw him open his door, the affidavit says he admitted he may have looked out before other drivers got him to stop.
While Garcia's blood was being taken at the jail for testing, he admitted when questioned that he moved an unopened beer from the center console to behind him, the affidavit says. He also said there may have been some cans in the car from a coworker mixing beer and tomato juice, according to the affidavit.
APD arrested the Garcia on suspicion of:
- Vehicular assault
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Driving on a suspended license
- Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian
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