He runs red lights regularly. He ran down a senior citizen in a hit-and-run, cops say

Ricardo Gonzalez
Ricardo Gonzalez

A North Miami-Dade man with a record of running red lights and smoking marijuana admitted he was high when he killed a Little Havana senior citizen in a hit-and-run, Miami police say.

Ricardo Gonzalez's arrest report says the 25-year-old surrendered to police at the Caribe Cafe Restaurant on Wednesday, then laid out how he ran down Hilda Garcia as she crossed Northwest 37th Avenue at Ninth Street and tried to cover up the crime.

He now faces charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and attempting to tamper with physical evidence.

Garcia's birthday is Friday. She would have been 78, her family says.

The family of Hilda Garcia, 76, a victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident Sunday, is pleading for anyone with information to come forward. Garcia would have turned 77 on Friday.

Gonzalez paid $1,165 in fines on four red light tickets in 17 months spanning 2016-17. His three misdemeanor marijuana possession raps speak to the habit he told police he's indulged in twice-a-day since age 15.

"He also stated when he smokes marijuana, his left eye closes due to his lazy eye," the arrest report reads. "When asked if he felt any effects from the marijuana cigarette, he stated that he felt buzzed, but was fine to drive because he has always driven buzzed and has never hit anyone before."

Until Sunday just after 10 p.m.

Garcia was two blocks from her home. Heading north on Northwest 37th Avenue, Gonzalez was going 40 to 45 mph by his estimation in the right lane of a 35 mph zone with a faulty right headlight. He saw the green light ahead at Northwest 11th Street.

"He stated he knew he hit something and it caused a 4-inch hole in the windshield," the arrest report reads. Gonzalez "stated he was scared for his life and didn't stop or look back at all and got onto (State road) 836 eastbound after the impact."

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He raced to a friend's home in Pembroke Pines, where he made up a story about a young woman's jealous boyfriend stealing the Pontiac and crashing it. He'd decided to sell the car to a junkyard, he told his friend.

According to the report, a witness later called Miami police traffic homicide to say he saw two Hispanic men hitting the windshield and bumper of a Pontiac around midnight.

The report says Gonzalez got $200 for the car from a business that crushed it and sold it to a business in Georgia.

The arrest report ends, "When asked why he waited three days to surrender himself, he told us he wanted to see his mother and grandmother one last time because he was never going to see them again for what he had done."