Police say a woman was arrested after a chaotic hit-and-run left a man seriously injured. The incident happened Tuesday evening on Columbia Pike near Glebe Road in Arlington.
39-year-old Alexandra Mendez of Fairfax has been arrested and faces charges of aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, two counts of hit and run and driving on a suspended license. She was denied bond and is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility
The first victim, a 40-year-old Stafford, Va. man, was rushed to surgery at George Washington University Hospital. He remains there in critical condition.
The other victim, Hamaad Arif, returned to the scene to get his car and described the incident to reporters Tuesday night: "She tried to run me over. She hit my leg. She hit my arm. Basically the gate was closed and she tried to run the gate open. Then I came in the middle, she hit him and he laid down on the floor. Then I told her to stop and she put the gas on and drove right on top of him."
Mendez was taken into custody at 6 a.m. Wednesday at her residence. The vehicle was recovered outside of the suspect's residence.Before she was detained, she actually answered a call from police.
"[She] fully admitted to being responsible for the incident, just not willing to turn herself in just yet," said Dustin Sternbeck, spokesperson for the Arlington County Police Department. The detectives through a little bit of police investigation and assistance from the U.S. Marshals, Fairfax County and Fairfax City police were able to locate her at a residence within Fairfax and take her into custody."
Wendy Gajmalinster works with the victims at MK Auto Sales and Service, but she thinks of them more like family. She says everyone at work is in shock.
"He's a 100 percent excellent guy," she said. "He didn't deserve this. He's got great kids, wonderful wife."
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows part of what happened. The suspect apparently struck two cars in a very small parking lot. What you don't see after she pulls away is what happened to the victims as they tried to stop her from leaving and address the damage to the cars.
Police say she hit one victim. Witnesses tried to stop the car. She then ran over the victim and struck another as she took off.
While one of the victims fights for his life, his family, friends and employees promise to be there through this difficult time.