Suspect Arrested in Paradise Hill Hit and Run

James Robbins is charged with killing Jose Padron

After a two-month investigation, police said the hit and run driver responsible for the death of a Paradise Hill mechanic is now in custody.

Jose Padron, 49, was killed in front of his house, while getting an umbrella from his car to give to his wife.

The suspect, 47-year-old James Robbins was already in custody on a parole violation when San Diego Police determined his connection to the hit and run.

Police said Robbins was behind the wheel of the silver car when he hit Padron, who was carried some 40 feet down Albemarle Street.

A video, recorded on a neighbor Butch Leonberger's surveillance camera, lead investigators first to the suspect car, then to the driver. 

"It's a decision that person made that he is going to have to live with it,” Leonberger said.

He told NBC 7, he installed the security system three years ago to protect his own family.

"If it could help any of our neighbors or the person down the street help solve something like this, I am all for it,” Leonberger said.

Close family friend Lauren Marcial said a conviction could help the family find closure.

“Without that video, he probably would have gotten away,” Marcial said.

The actual hit and run isn't on the video but it does show what happened seconds later. The driver stops for 10 seconds, signals to get back in traffic, and then drives away.

Marcial said it reveals Robbins' state of mind.

"He was conscious enough to where he pulled over and stopped to think about what just happened,” Marcial said.

Police said Robbins is now charged with felony hit and run charges and is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges Monday.

Contact Us