Police: Casper Man Hit, Dragged Man With Car Before Leaving Scene
A Casper man is accused of hitting and dragging a man with his car during the early hours of March 5.
Eliel Lopez is charged with aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance - marijuana, possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine and failure to stop.
He waived a preliminary hearing regarding the charges last week and will have an opportunity to enter pleas to the charges in an upcoming arraignment in Natrona County District Court.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Casper police were called to North Center Street in downtown Casper near the federal building. When they arrived, they found a man lying in the road screaming with his leg broken "all the way through." Police also found a mangled fat tire bike.
Police spoke with the victim after he was taken to Wyoming Medical Center. The victim suffered an open fracture on his lower leg and have to have surgery, the affidavit states.
The affidavit states the victim told police that he was riding his bike on North Center Street when he heard tires squealing. At that point, a car sped out and hit the victim while going between 30 and 40 mph.
The victim's leg became stuck between the center bars of his bicycle, which was stuck under the car. Lopez, the driver, did not stop the car and the victim was dragged in the street.
According to the affidavit, the victim described beating on the side of the car and yelling at Lopez.
Eventually, the affidavit states, Lopez got out of the car and began jumping up and down on the car in an attempt to dislodge the victim and his bicycle. At that point, the victim felt the pop of his leg-breaking.
Lopez and a witness were eventually able to lift the car high enough for the victim to drag himself out from under it.
After that, Lopez allegedly drove off.
Police spoke with Lopez's passenger the next day. The passenger told police that Lopez picked her up for work. She denied feeling or seeing the vehicle strike the victim. The affidavit states Lopez's passenger had a feeling that something was trying to stop the vehicle.
The passenger reportedly told police that Lopez briefly stopped the vehicle and began to pull forward again when she heard someone yell "stop."
After the victim freed himself from the car, Lopez reportedly told his passenger "I gotta get out of the area."
On March 6, Lopez turned himself into the Casper Police Department.
According to the affidavit, Lopez allegedly told police he didn't think he'd hit anyone at first due to having mechanical issues with his vehicle. However, he stopped the vehicle and, when he ran around the front of the vehicle, he saw the victim and his bicycle laying under the vehicle.
Lopez allegedly told police that he left the scene and did not report the incident because he didn't want to get into trouble. After leaving the scene, Lopez reportedly went about his day like normal.