HOUSTON — Court documents identified 52-year-old Pedro Alberto Hernandez as the man who hit and killed a 6-year-old boy in southwest Houston this weekend.
It happened on Saturday just before 7 p.m. in front of a laundromat off Leawood Boulevard and Bissonnet Street. According to Houston police, the boy was with his family on their way to a store when the suspect hit him in a parking lot.
"He tried to flee the scene, but the people that were around, they stopped him and held him until the police came,” a witness said.
The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, works at a nearby business.
“Basically, he ran over the boy and the grandfather, out of panic, kept saying 'my grandson, my grandson.' The driver wasn’t in his senses, so he backed up on him again, he ran over him once and back onto him,” he said.
According to court documents, Hernandez ran over the child three times. One of the times, he's accused of stopping the car while a wheel was on the boy's face.
Sean Teare, with Harris County’s Vehicular Crimes Division, said Hernandez is a repeat offender. Court documents show Hernandez has prior DWI offenses in three different counties dating back to July 2015.
"The individual that killed the 6-year-old ... this was his fourth, at least, DWI arrest,” Teare said.
If convicted, Hernandez could face life in prison.
Hernandez admitted to drinking four, 16-ounce beers before the incident, according to court documents.
Teare said Harris County was one of the first in the state to attach a felony charge to DWI offenses, one of the ways they’re working to crack down on the issue.
"What we’re doing as an office and with our law enforcement partners is we charge those cases differently," Teare said.
Teare said it’s a preventable crime that left a family coping with a heartbreaking loss.
“We were out there yesterday with that family and just the devastation that it's brought,” Teare said.