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Charges dismissed against man who ran over 6-year-old boy several times in laundromat parking lot, DA says

The Harris County District Attorney's Office now says Pedro Hernandez was not drunk at the time of the accident.

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

Darien Lewis died when Pedro Alberto Hernandez, ran him over at least three times in a laundromat parking lot, police said.

Hernandez was initially suspected of drunken driving in this incident, but the Harris County District Attorney’s Office now says he had an interlock device in his car from a previous DWI charge and the device showed he was not intoxicated during the incident.       

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

At the time, Hernandez was charged with murder in the death of a 6-year-old boy. His bond was raised to nearly a million dollars -- $850,000 for the murder charge and $100,000 for DWI.

Prosecutors at the time asked for a higher bond because Hernandez has a history of driving drunk with three DWIs in three counties since 2015. 

RELATED: HPD: 6-year-old boy run over, killed by suspected intoxicated driver in SW Houston

What happened

Darien was hit and killed on Sat., Oct. 1, in front of a laundromat off Leawood Boulevard and Bissonnet Street. According to Houston police, he was with his family on their way to a store when Hernandez hit him in a parking lot.

A witness described the scene.

“Basically, he ran over the boy, and the grandfather, out of panic, kept saying 'My grandson, my grandson.' The driver wasn’t in his senses, so he backed up on him again, he ran over him once and back onto him,” the man said in 2022.

According to court documents, Hernandez ran over the child three times. One of the times, he's accused of stopping the car while a wheel was on the boy's face.

Hernandez admitted to drinking four, 16-ounce beers before the incident, according to court records.

History of drunk driving

Hernandez was on probation for a DWI in Fort Bend County, according to prosecutors. 

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

The family along with activists Dr. Candice Matthews and Quanell X held a news conference Tuesday saying the DA's office "secretly dismissed charges" in the case and said Hernandez left after running Darien over. In a press release, they said the family is "outraged" that they will not receive justice. 

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