Suspect in hit-and-run that killed 3 boys gives conflicting statements to police

Joseph Eskandarian (LVMPD)

A 28-year-old Las Vegas man faces four felony charges for fleeing the scene of a crash that killed three boys and injured another last month.

Metro Lt. Peter Kisfalvi said officers were called to an accident scene at 9:07 p.m. at the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Ocean Crest Street, near Nellis Boulevard.

Metro said a group of boys were walking on the sidewalk when Joseph Eskandarian, driving a 2007 Suzuki Forenza struck them as he tried to pass another car on the shoulder. The three boys killed were ages 12,13, and 14, while the fourth victim, a 13-year-old boy, suffered a broken leg, according to Metro.

Two of the boys, 12-year-old Danny and 14-year-old Ponchito Miramontes were brothers, identified by their family. The third boy killed has not been officially identified.

A witness saw Eskandarian run away from the scene and tried to follow him, police said. Officers said they found his wallet in the car, which had his name and address listed on a traffic ticket inside. Metro went to his home, found him there and questioned him.

Police said he gave conflicting statements, initially saying his car was stolen. According to the arrest report, he said he didn't call 911 because "it was not an emergency." He also said his gas pedal got stuck and he reached down to move whatever caused it to stick and ran off the road. He said he hit people and tried to help by saying, 'Are you alright dude?'

When the victims didn't respond, Eskandarian said he freaked out and ran home.

He said he wasn't injured but did have abrasions on his arms and face. He was arrested and when asked if he understood his rights, he said he did because he had been arrested numerous times, police reported.

Eskandarian told police he ran home because "he knew he was in big trouble and wanted to spend his last moments of freedom with his family."

But police said he did not show any signs of impairment. A cheek swab was taken to be analyzed.

At the scene, a light pole was also broken off its base, and pieces of the Suzuki and items from the boys were found by police.

Eskandarian faces eight to 80 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.

A GoFundMe page was set up for the Miramontes boys killed in the crash.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Manager