A man accused of causing a fatal road accident, previously accused of robbery and kidnapping

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The man police suspect was responsible for a fatal hit-and-run crash has previously been charged with robbery and kidnapping, according to police.

Police said Manuel Mendoza Jr. was arrested on May 23, more than a month after the accident that killed Robert Bager.

On April 20, police received a report of a pedestrian accident near North Main Street and Foremaster Avenue. The police report shows that calls to the police indicated that the pedestrian was probably dead and the driver of the passenger car left the scene.

After the first officer arrived at the scene, he provided help and resuscitated the pedestrian. After the medical team arrived, it was determined that the pedestrian, later identified as Robert Bager, could not be resuscitated, according to the police report.

Detectives at the scene later determined that prior to the crash, Bager had been crossing Main Street, south of Foremaster Avenue, from east to west, outside of a marked or presumed crosswalk.

The report states that surveillance video, along with statements from witnesses in the area, describes a white Chrysler Sebring convertible traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on Main Street and turning onto Owens Avenue.

On May 1, police received information that Mendoza was suspected of a hit-and-run and was listed in a robbery case for which he was arrested. Detectives noted that the vehicle Mendoza used in the alleged robbery was a white Chrysler Sebring. The vehicle also had a suspended registration and was registered to an owner in Los Angeles, California, police said.

Detectives also learned that the National Insurance Crime Bureau had investigated the vehicle following reports of a suspicious car fire and found it had been completely burned out. Detectives also learned that the vehicle had been towed the day after the crash at the request of Henderson Police. According to police, photos taken by the tow truck showed contact damage to the right front of the vehicle.

Henderson police also said a 911 call reported smoke near Athens Avenue and North Orleans Street on April 21 shortly before 1:30 a.m., according to a police report.

Police noticed there was a Nevada license plate near the burned car that belonged to a 2001 BMW. According to the report, detectives determined that the vehicle had been brought to the scene and concluded that the cause of the fire was arson.

According to police, a Nevada license plate found at the scene of the fire indicated that the vehicle was struck on April 20 at 11:33 p.m. and again at 11:41 p.m. the same night. Investigators then determined that the damage to the Chrysler was related to the hit-and-run collision, according to a police report. Detectives concluded that Chrysler was likely burned in an attempt to destroy and conceal evidence of its involvement, police said in the report.

A search of Mendoza DMV records also turned up a Jan. 12 ticket for showing a false registration/license plate/vehicle title and required proof of owner’s insurance. The police report showed that Mendoza’s criminal history also included charges of robbery, burglary and kidnapping.

According to the police report, police also found an outstanding warrant for the man’s arrest for failing to show up for an “insurance check.” Detectives also learned that Mendoza had been released on robbery charges and had been ordered to stay out of trouble by the court, with a May 23 court date. Police conducted further investigations at his home that day and placed him under arrest.

After his arrest, Mendoza told police that he was going to meet friends at the Circus-Cirus Casino on the night of the crash. On the way there, he told police, “A person appeared in front of his vehicle,” police said. Mendoza then told police he “couldn’t determine what part of his vehicle hit the person, but he indicated the impact was loud and he knew he hit something,” according to the report. Mendoza then told police he “got scared and started to panic.” Mendoza then denied any connection to or knowledge of the Chrysler arson and instead told police he had left the keys to the vehicle unlocked, according to the police report.

According to police, Mendoza Jr. the following charges were brought.

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