On 11/16/16 at approximately 6:40 PM, officers responded to the vicinity of S. Oleander Street and CR 512 to investigate the report of a crash with injuries. Witnesses reported that the driver of a white van traveling west on Massachusetts struck a pedestrian walking along the road near S. Elm Street and left the area without stopping.
One witness followed the vehicle while the other remained on scene with the pedestrian. The witness who followed the vehicle identified it to an officer parked in the driveway of 60 S. Oleander, still occupied by the driver. The driver, later identified as Jorge Flores-Paredes was in the driver’s seat with the car keys in his left hand and pieces of windshield glass on his clothing and in his hair.
Flores-Paredes refused the officers direction to exit the vehicle and instead, reached for the center console. Not knowing what he was reaching for, the officer physically removed him from the vehicle so the investigation could proceed.
The investigation revealed that Flores-Paredes knew he hit a pedestrian and did not stop because he doesn’t have a license and he was not sure if the person he hit was dead or alive.
Flores-Paredes admitted to drinking beer and Tequila. He refused to perform roadside sobriety tests and was taken to the hospital for examination prior to being transported to the Indian River County Jail. Once there, he submitted to a breath test and provided samples of .198 and .206. The per se limit in Florida is .080.
Flores-Paredes was arrested for driving while under the influence, leaving the scene of a crash with personal injury, resisting an officer without violence, and operating a vehicle with no license.
The pedestrian was identified as Justo Araujo of 218 Mulberry Street. He was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries. He did not sustain any broken bones.