Otay Mesa

Thanksgiving Day Hit-and-Run Killer in Custody: San Diego Police

Fernando Hernandez Salazar was arrested crossing into the US at the San Ysidro Port of Entry


A man suspected of killing a bicyclist by intentionally running him down with a vehicle on an Otay Mesa street on Thanksgiving Day was behind bars Tuesday following his arrest at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fernando Hernandez Salazar, 51, was arrested Monday morning while crossing into the United States at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. He was booked on suspicion of murder in connection with the death last year of 40-year-old Octavio Mendoza, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Patrol officers responding to a report of a possible hit-and-run crash found Mendoza lying in the roadway in the 3700 block of Arey Drive next to a bicycle shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 25. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives ultimately concluded that the collision was an intentional act and identified Salazar, a Mexican national, as the driver, Lt. Jud Campbell said.

Campbell declined to disclose what led investigators to believe that Mendoza's death was a suspected homicide. The lieutenant also would not reveal how Salazar was identified as the alleged killer or say if the victim and suspect knew each other.

Salazar was being held in San Diego Central Jail pending arraignment, scheduled for Wednesday.

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