Rodrigo Cruz

Rodrigo Cruz

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas police arrested the 22-year-old driver of a van involved in a homicide on Sunday morning.

According to the arrest report for Rodrigo Cruz, he's charged with open murder, duty to stop at the scene of an accident and a parole violation.

Police allege Cruz was driving a van on Hollywood Boulevard near Wildcat Avenue at 7:30 a.m. on October 25 when his passenger stuck his body outside of the van to hit a woman riding her bike. The impact killed the woman and caused the passenger to fall out, killing him.

The woman on the bike was identified in the arrest report at Michelle Weissman, 56. The Clark County Coroner's Office said Weissman died of multiple blunt force injuries and her death was ruled a homicide.

A family driving that morning told police they were passed by the speeding vehicles, which they described as a burgundy van, a gold car and another small car. They said they saw the passenger lean out of the van and "shove" Weissman before falling to his death.

The coroner's office identified the man who leaned out of the car as 20-year-old Giovanni Medina Barajas. He died of multiple blunt force injuries and his death was ruled an accident, the coroner's office said.

The van kept going and the family, as well as several other citizens, stopped to help Weissman. The family said the gold car returned and three young women got out, screaming and crying about Barajas' death.

A couple who were walking that morning told police they had greeted the woman on the bike moments before. They confirmed an earlier report that the passenger of the van attempted to hit them but missed. 

Police were able to contact the three women in the gold Ford Focus. They said the group was hanging out and drinking near Lake Mead Boulevard and Hollywood. They identified the men in the van as "Gio" and "Rego." When they left, they said they followed the van to go to Rego's house. 

The women told police they thought Gio, who was in the van's passenger seat, was "messing around dancing" before he fell from the van. One woman told police she saw the woman on the bike "fall off," but none of them saw Gio hit the woman. 

Police identified Rego through social media as Rodrigo Cruz. At his house, police found the van, a burgundy Toyota Sienna, parked in front. The van had damage consistent with evidence found at the scene. 

Cruz was arrested and while in custody "talked for an extended amount of time providing variations of what happened to the van he was in," police said.

Cruz eventually told police he was driving the van with Gio in the passenger seat and a friend identified as Jonathan in the back seat. He told police he was driving about 50-60 mph when Gio pushed the woman on the bike, but denied driving near the sidewalk, and instead told police he was "likely" trying to get Gio inside the car and swerved. 

"Gio was always doing stupid stuff but Rodrigo stated he wasn't intentionally driving in a manner to allow Gio to make contact with any pedestrians of the bicyclist," the police report says.

Cruz said he drove home after Gio fell out and never went to check on him "because he was scared since he was on parole and didn't think Gio was hurt," according to the report. 

Police said that due to the width of the marked bike lane, Cruz would have to drive in the bike lane next to the curb for Gio to reach the walking couple, as well as Weissman. 

A spokesperson for Boyd Gaming confirmed that Weissman worked at Eastside Cannery before her death:

We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless loss of our team member, Shelli. She was well-known and well-liked by the entire Cannery team, and we will miss her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this very difficult time. -Boyd Gaming Vice President of Corporate Communications David Strow

Cruz is expected in court on Oct. 28. 

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(4) comments

jondough

The three scumbag women that were screaming and crying over the lowlife murderer's just demise should be hauled in as well. They are all disgusting. The criminal driver stating he must have swerved trying to "pull" Gio back in the vehicle at highway speed instead of stopping, after he tried to hit the couple moments before, is just as stupid as the witness statement in Ferguson that police officer Darren Wilson trying to "pull" the thug Michael Brown in through the drivers window before he was able to shoot Brown in self defense. In my opinion they should all spend about 15 minutes in the electric chair. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Innocent, Decent Woman, Her Family, and Loved Ones.

Hugh Jassol

It's important to remember that a sanctuary city is only a sanctuary for some. The rest have to put up with it.

ALIEN AT AREA 51

What a bunch of friggin idiots. Sad for the poor woman on the bike.

karma for the jaggoff that did this.

Mediumjeep

Loser lowlife criminal minds!

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