LAS VEGAS — He got what he deserved.
A man who was hanging out of the passenger window of his pal’s car as they raced through downtown Las Vegas, was killed after fatally knocking a cyclist to the ground and then falling headfirst out of the vehicle and into a lamp post.
Police say the car appeared to have been recklessly racing with other vehicles when it pulled alongside the cyclist, 55-year-old Michelle Weissman. The passenger, 20-year-old Giovanni Medina Barajas, was leaning out of the car and attempted to punch two pedestrians but missed and then collided with Weissman, knocking her to the ground.
He then fell out of the vehicle and crashed head first into the pole. Both Weissman and Barajas were taken to the hospital where they were declared dead.
“Senseless is an understatement,” Lt. Raymond Spencer told KSNV-TV. “You have a woman who was out riding her bicycle and they pull up next to her and strike her, causing her to die. It’s an absolute senseless act. There’s no reason behind this that I can tell you why it occurred, other than complete stupidity.”
The driver, 22-year-old Rodrigo Cruz, fled the scene but was later arrested and charged with murder, fleeing the scene and violating his parole.
Passengers from one of the other vehicles returned to the scene and said they had all been out drinking and were heading back to Cruz’s house. When cops found him there, he claimed he only veered to pull Barajas back into the vehicle.
“He never went back to check on him because he was scared since he was on parole and didn’t think Gio was hurt,” the Las Vegas Sun reported, citing 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.”
In 2016, Cruz was sentenced to four-to-12 1/2 years in prison for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was released early after getting credit for 285 days of time served.