A Florida man is under arrest for a pedestrian’s hit-and-run death after his roommate became suspicious of his story about hitting a deer.
The 911 dispatcher took the roommate’s call Sunday morning shortly after a highway patrol trooper found a human leg on a road near Spring Hill, 40 miles north of Tampa. Connecting the clues, officers found a dead man who had been dumped behind a bait shop a block away, TV station WFLA reported.
A 28-year-old Weeki Wachee resident was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, tampering with evidence, having no drivers license in a crash involving a death, and having no insurance.
The fatal collision occurred around 12:10 a.m. Sunday, the highway patrol said. A car westbound on a two-lane county road near the famed Weeki Wachee Springs “mermaid” tourist attraction hit a pedestrian, a 32-year-old Spring Hill man.
The roommate said it was around that time that the suspect called him to help push his disabled car — a 1995 Mazda MX-6 — about a block from the Dixie Lee Bait Shop to their house. He said he had hit a deer.
Once home, the suspect reportedly spray-painted the damaged parts of his car, took a shower and went to bed. Around 8 a.m., the roommate said, he went to look at the car and began to doubt the story about the deer.
Highway patrol troopers and sheriff’s deputies used a cadaver dog to locate the dead man behind the bait shop.
The suspect also is the subject of a Minnesota arrest warrant alleging felony criminal vehicle operation involving bodily harm and gross negligence.
St. Paul TV station KSTV said that warrant was issued after a February 2020 incident in which an allegedly speeding driver trying to elude a sheriff’s deputy hit a car and overturned into a ditch. The driver and his three passengers were injured, one of them critically.
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