HARTFORD — The driver of a C-Town delivery van who is accused of hitting and injuring an 83-year-old woman outside the supermarket July 11 was arraigned Thursday and taken into custody.
Victor Morales, 21, had been free on a promise to appear in court, but after the hearing he was detained, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will put him on a monitoring bracelet, officials said.
The victim, Maria Santos, who turned 83 on Monday, is in critical, but stable condition at a hospital, police said.
Santos’ family is cautiously optimistic, said Gene Swain, an attorney from Riscassi & Davis who is representing Santos.
“All they’re trying to do is get her through this,” Swain said.
Morales was charged with reckless driving, evading responsibility, unsafe backing, driving without a license and driving on a sidewalk.
Surveillance video shows Santos walking past the van on the sidewalk as it is being loaded for a delivery, according to a police report. Once the van is loaded, Morales gets in and backs up along the sidewalk toward a driveway and hit Santos from behind, the report says.
Morales told police he didn’t see the woman when he checked the rearview mirrors, and when he felt he hit something he said he walked to the back of the van and he saw Santos, according to a police report. He said he immediately called the assistant manager at C-Town, then dialed 911, the report says.
He ran from the scene but returned 30 minutes later and spoke with officers, police said.
Morales did not explain what he did during the time he disappeared, except to say that he was scared, the report says.
Morales does not have a driver’s license and gave police a passport from Mexico when he was asked for identification, the report says.
Text By Hilda Munoz, Hartford Courant; Video By John Charlton Fox CT