FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Fresno police officer could be disciplined after running over a homeless man.
Months after the incident, police are now providing an update on the investigation, calling it an accident and saying the department’s Collision Reconstruction Unit found the officer at fault.
One eyewitness says she heard brakes squealing from her downtown office.
“His body was underneath the police vehicle. His upper torso was in between the front and back wheels,” said Shawna Haymond.
The incident happened on August 1st around 3:30 p.m. on the Mariposa Mall plaza outside Fresno PD’s headquarters. Haymond says a coworker had noticed the man earlier taking a nap on the walkway.
“He was not under a blanket, he was not under cardboard, he was not hidden in any way,” she said, adding that after the car ran over the victim, the officer got out of the patrol vehicle and made a call on his cellphone, presumably to 911.
Haymond says he didn’t check if he was ok.
“He never touched him.”
The eyewitness says an ambulance arrived shortly after. Police say the patient was transported to a local hospital and has since been released.
“His face was crunched up like he was grimacing in pain. He was a very thin, young man,” said Haymond.
“It’s very overwhelming, people don’t understand here in the unhoused world it’s a phone call every day, if not two, three times a day. Somebody’s hurt, somebody got hit by a car, somebody got stabbed,” said Dez Martinez, a homeless advocate who says she doesn’t trust police anymore.
“I feel there’s no way he couldn’t have seen him laying there. I would like to know who’s paying for the hospital bill, the police officer or the taxpayers?”
Police aren’t releasing the name of the officer or commenting further on the case at this time.
But in a statement, Lt. Bill Dooley said “Discipline is pending”.