Police make arrest in fatal hit and run

March 12, 2019

The Brownsville Police Department arrested a Brownsville resident Monday that they accuse of hitting and killing a 79-year-old bicyclist.

Juan Luis Rodriguez, 34, is charged with accident involving death and criminally negligent homicide.

He was arraigned Tuesday morning and received $30,000 in bail.

According to police, at 10:40 a.m. Monday, Rodriguez hit and killed Nicolas Garza Torres on the 5700 block of Padre Island Highway.

During a brief appearance in municipal court, authorities said a witness said a white SUV left the scene of the accident, which investigators found and linked the vehicle to Rodriguez.

A defense attorney present at the hearing had asked Municipal Judge Robert Lerma to find no probable cause for the arrest, arguing nothing links Rodriguez to the vehicle.

Authorities also told Lerma there is video evidence from a nearby business that they believe also links Rodriguez to the vehicle.

Rodriguez told Lerma that he is unemployed because he has disabilities related to mental health.

During the hearing, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two tickets he had from 2017 for DWI and having an open container, his only criminal history, according to police.