A Las Vegas motorist has been arrested for murder following the deaths of both a cyclist and also the passenger in his minivan after what police have called a “senseless act”. 20-year-old Giovanni Barajas was killed after he fell out of the window of the moving vehicle while pushing 55-year-old Michelle Weissman to her death.
According to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Police Department, witnesses said that Rodrigo Cruz appeared to have been racing two other vehicles on Hollywood Boulevard at around 7.20am on Sunday, October 25.
Barajas, who was in the front passenger seat, then leaned out of the moving vehicle to “take a swing” at Weissman.
The cyclist died at the scene, as did Barajas, who fell out of the van with the momentum of his strike and slid for around 150 feet into a traffic light.
“Senseless is an understatement,” said Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer. “There’s no reason behind, that I can tell you, as to why it occurred – other than complete stupidity.”
Police said one of the three speeding vehicles returned to the scene where a trio of young women began crying and yelling for Barajas. They told officers they had been out drinking with him and Cruz.
Cruz had fled the scene but the Las Vegas Sun reports that he has since been arrested for one count of murder and two counts of failure to stop at the scene of a crash.
It appears the Clark County District Attorney’s Office is not likely to prosecute him on the murder charge.
Cruz was on parole for an armed robbery.
“He never went back to check on [Barajas] because he was scared since he was on parole and didn’t think Gio was hurt,” states the arrest report. “Gio was always doing stupid stuff, but [Cruz] stated he wasn’t intentionally driving in a manner to allow Gio to make contact with any pedestrians or the bicyclist.”