Suspect Arrested in Double Hit-and-Run After Witnesses Record Incident - NBC4 Washington

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Suspect Arrested in Double Hit-and-Run After Witnesses Record Incident

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    Northern Virginia bureau reporter David Culver talks to witnesses of a hit-and-run as an arrest is made in the case. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015)

    Police arrested a suspect in a double hit-and-run in an Arlington parking lot after several people used cameras to record the incident.

    Alexandra Mendez, 39, was arrested at her home in Fairfax at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

    Arlington County police said Mendez first hit a car while turning around in the parking lot of MK Auto Sales and Service in Arlington on Tuesday, located in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. An employee asked her to stop, but surveillance video showed backing in to two other parked cars, according to Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver.

    The dealer's owner, Noormustafa Shaikh, and Hamaad Arif, owner of a neighboring business, tried to stop the driver from leaving by closing a gate. Arif also shouted for witnesses to record the incident on their phones.

    Noormustafa Shaikh has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

    That's when Mendez gunned the car and hit the gate, police said. She stopped but then gunned the car again, running over Arif's foot and over Shaikh, dragging him several feet before fleeing, police said.

    "She didn't want to stop, she ran over my foot [and] then ran over my partner," Arif said. "Basically she pushed him with the car [and] then the second time she ran him over and pushed me away."

    Another employee, Selai Akbar-Hussain ran down from her office as soon as it happened.

    “And I didn’t even recognize it was Noor because the body was so mangled up," she said. "And I didn’t realize it was somebody I had known."

    Shaikh, a father of three, has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. A GoFundMe account has been set up online to help him and his family.

    Witnesses at the scene of the crash said they attempted to stop the driver, but she fled.

    "She was stopped there for what we think was for a minute, then she hit the gas and knocked the gates out of the way," Arlington County Dep. Chief Daniel Murray said. "The problem was that the first individual who had already fallen was still laying on the ground and she ran over him."

    Shaikh opened the business in October, Culver reported. He also works part time at a convenience store.

    Police used witness video to track down Mendez, Culver reported.

    Mendez has been charged with two counts each of malicious wounding and hit-and-run. She was also charged with driving on a suspended license, police said Wednesday.

    Mendez is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

    It's unknown whether she has a lawyer. She did not appear to have a listed telephone number.