Suspect arrested in fatal hit-and-run crash in Warren

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer discusses the arrest in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a 60-year-old man.

Warren — A 24-year-old Roseville man has been arrested in the Feb. 3 hit-and-run crash that left a 60-year-old Eastpointe man dead, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said Thursday.

Dwyer said that about an hour before the suspect’s arrest, investigators located the Dodge Charger believed to have hit victim Randy Menendez that night.

The crash took place on Groesbeck, north of 10 Mile, on Super Bowl Sunday at about 6:30 p.m. Menendez’s sister, Rosanne, said her younger brother was riding his bike back home to watch the big game. 

A tip that came in on Feb. 5, just two days after the crash, led to the arrest, Dwyer said.

“I’m not going to elaborate on how we identified the suspect,” Dwyer said.

The suspect’s arrest came as a relief to the family, she said. Randy Menendez was one of 10 siblings, Dwyer said. Rosanne said Randy was just 11 months younger than herself.

“Last night was the first night I could sleep a few hours,” Rosanne said Thursday, through tears. “Because I knew they had (the suspect), and I knew they were going to seek justice for us.”

Detectives Todd Murray, Christopher Skridulis and John Gajewski joined Dwyer and Menendez at the press conference, but Skridulus said “there were 20 other people involved in this.”

“Sergeants, road patrol, everybody went out of their way (to help). Everybody took this personal,” Murray said.

“This was priority one for us,” Gajewski said. “This is something we worked on every day, all day to get it done.”

Dwyer, a 50-year veteran in law enforcement, said the investigation was “unique” in terms of the time, effort, resources and techniques used to make the recovery and arrest.

But the case is not closed, Dwyer said. The Charger was towed from Warren to a home on the 16000 block of Collingham in Detroit — south of East Eight Mile, west of Kelly — sometime between the crash and its recovery Wednesday afternoon at about 4 p.m. The specifics of how it got to Detroit aren’t fully known. 

The suspect's vehicle, a black Dodge Charger, is believed to have hit the victim Randy Menendez.

Police arrested the suspect on the 30500 block of Sandhurst Drive in Roseville, about an hour after finding the Charger, Dwyer said. That’s south of 13 Mile and east of Utica roads.

“Our detectives interviewed the suspect, and he made admissions implicating himself as the driver of the vehicle that night,” Dwyer said. “In his admissions, the suspect indicated he was traveling 70 mph at the time he struck the victim.”

And two other people, both believed to be males, were in the Charger at the time of the crash. 

“It was an accident until they left the scene of the crime,” Rosanne said. “Then it was a murder.”

Dwyer said the suspect is expected to be arraigned Friday on a charge of leaving he scene of a fatal crash, a 15-year felony.