Elderly man dead after driving rampage

July 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man driving on a pedestrian walkway in Alameda this morning struck and killed a 78-year-old man, Alameda police said.

A man driving on a pedestrian walkway in Alameda this morning struck and killed a 78-year-old man, Alameda police said.

Police received several 911 calls just before 5:30 a.m. reporting a reckless motorist who was driving a Jeep Cherokee on a pedestrian walkway in the 2000 block of Shoreline Drive, which runs along the Bay.

"The initial 911 call came from a lady who said she had to jump out of the way of the car," said police Lt. David Boersma.

The pathway where the Jeep was driving runs along the water. "It's a multi-use walkway for pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters and whatnot," Boersma said.

There were few people using the walkway at that hour, he said. Police responded and located the Jeep and its driver, 36-year-old Alameda resident Dionisio Molina, in the 2400 block of Shoreline Drive across from the AMF Bowling Center.

Boersma said Molina had turned the car around on the walkway to face west, but had stopped when police approached.

He didn't resist when officers placed him under arrest, Boersma said.

"He didn't really say much of anything at all," Boersma said. Officers began to retrace the route of the Jeep, which had struck several stop signs and light poles.

Within minutes, they found the body of a 78-year-old man who had been struck by the car in the 2000 block of Shoreline Drive. He was pronounced dead.

That man's name has not yet been released and Boersma said it is not yet clear whether he lived in the neighborhood.

Boersma said police do not know why Molina, who was alone in his car, was driving on the walkway. There were no obvious signs of intoxication, but a blood sample was taken for testing, Boersma said.

Molina did not interact with officers who approached him, Boersma said.

"He wasn't conversant at all," Boersma said. "Like in a state of shock."

He was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, Boersma said.

A roughly half-mile stretch of Shoreline Drive was taped off for several hours this morning while police investigated.


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