Tampa police arrest man in deadly hit-and-run

Published Feb. 29, 2012

TAMPA — Police think the driver involved in a Monday night hit-and-run that killed a 43-year-old bicyclist was drunk at the time of the crash.

Humberto Saez of Tampa was riding his motorized bike along the 3100 block of Hillsborough Avenue about 7:30 p.m. when a white sport utility vehicle crashed into him, police said. The SUV driver then fled the scene.

Saez was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious head injuries. He died there Tuesday morning.

Police arrested the driver, who was not immediately identified, at his home just after midnight and charged him with driving under the influence and with a suspended license.

Police found the man by tracing a car that matched witnesses' description of a 2006 white Chevrolet Trailblazer with Florida tags.

The car found at the suspect's home had front-end damage that police said is consistent with hitting a cyclist. The Trailblazer was wet when officers arrived, indicating it had been washed recently, officials said.

Detectives think the suspect washed his SUV at a self-serve car wash in the area of Columbus Drive and N Boulevard sometime after 8:30 p.m. Monday and before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in an attempt to erase evidence from the crash.

They have asked local car washes to turn over their surveillance footage from that time frame.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tampa Police.