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Texas

Charges dropped against a man who ran over a 6-year-old boy multiple times in a laundry parking lot, the district attorney says.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office now maintains that Pedro Hernandez was not drunk at the time of the accident.

HOUSTON — The family of a 6-year-old boy who was hit by a driver in October 2022 is calling for justice after the charges were dropped on Tuesday.

Police said Darien Lewis died when Pedro Alberto Hernandez ran him over three times in the parking lot of a laundromat.

Hernandez was initially suspected of driving under the influence in this incident, but the Harris County District Attorney’s office now states that his car had a lockout device from a previous drunk driving charge and the device showed that he was not intoxicated at the time incident.

The DA’s office also said the child was alone in the parking lot and Hernandez did not see him.

At the time, Hernandez was charged with the murder of a six-year-old boy. His bail was increased to almost a million dollars – $850,000 for the murder charge and $100,000 for drunk driving.

Prosecutors at the time were seeking higher bail because Hernandez had been driving drunk with three drivers in three counties since 2015.

RELATED: HPD: 6-year-old boy hit by suspected drunk driver in Houston

What happened

Darien was hit and killed on Saturday, October 1st in front of a laundromat on Leawood Boulevard and Bissonnet Street. He was on his way to the store with his family when Hernandez ran him over in the parking lot, according to Houston police.

The witness described the scene.

In fact, he hit the boy, and the grandfather in a panic kept repeating: “My grandson, my grandson.” The driver was out of his mind, so he backed up again, ran into him once and again into him, ”the man said in 2022.

According to court documents, Hernandez ran over the child three times. In one case, he is accused of stopping a car when the wheel was on the boy’s face.

According to court records, Hernandez admitted to drinking four 16-ounce bottles of beer prior to the incident.

History of drunk driving

Hernandez was on probation for drunk driving in Fort Bend County, prosecutors said.

He also has a criminal record in Harris County and a third unidentified county.

The family, along with activists Dr. Candice Matthews and Quanell X, held a press conference Tuesday saying the DA’s office had “secretly dropped the charges” in the case and said Hernandez left after hitting Darien. In a press release, they said the family was “outraged” that they would not get justice.

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