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Police ID Driver in July 14 Hit-and-Run Crash 2018

Las Cruces police have identified and charged the driver suspected in the July 14 hit-and-run crash that injured a pedestrian on west Picacho Avenue.

Dennis H. Porter Jr., 39, of the 1800 block of west Picacho Avenue, has been charged with a third-degree felony count of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that caused great bodily harm and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence. Porter is also charged with a misdemeanor count of failure to give information and render aid.

The crash occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, July 14, on the 2600 block of west Picacho Avenue. Police learned a 49-year-old pedestrian was walking north, across Picacho, when he was struck by a blue sedan that was traveling west. The 49-year-old man was transported to University Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The vehicle fled the scene though police located a driver’s-side dark-blue mirror believed to be involved in the crash. The mirror had markings indicating it was manufactured for a Honda.

Crime Stoppers of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County offered a reward for information and an anonymous source called in, claiming to know the owner of a dark-blue Acura Integra that underwent repair by a technician at a local body shop.

Upon further investigation, LCPD officers located a dark-blue 2001 Acura Integra belonging to Porter. The Acura Integra was produced by the Honda Motor Company. The investigation revealed that Porter sought help repairing front-end damage and a broken mirror. The vehicle was fixed in a storage unit near the body shop off Compress Road. Investigators learned Porter’s girlfriend retrieved the vehicle on July 19 after the repairs were completed.

LCPD investigators interviewed Porter who acknowledged his involvement in the crash and indicated that his left arm was injured when his vehicle struck the pedestrian. Apparently, Porter was driving with his left elbow hanging out the open window. Porter also indicated that he drove to his passenger’s home following the crash.

Porter has been charged but not arrested. A criminal summons will be issued for his appearance in court.