Fresno police detective accused of hitting, killing homeless man with car while texting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno police detective was arrested Wednesday for vehicular manslaughter after investigators say he was texting while driving his department car when he hit and killed a homeless man in September.

The Fresno Police Department said Detective Benito Soto was driving west on Fresno Street on September 5th, and had a green light to cross the intersection when Jose Pulido, 51, entered a crosswalk while pushing a bicycle. Soto slammed into Pulido who later died from his injuries at Community Regional Medical Center.

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While reviewing police camera footage and records from Soto's personal cell phone, investigators found the detective had been texting while driving at the time of the crash.

"This intersection is well lit, and pedestrians are clearly discernable from a distance," the department said in a news release. "Investigators concluded, Detective Soto should have been able to stop and avoid the collision."

Soto faces several charges, including vehicular manslaughter, speed unsafe for conditions, and texting while driving. He has also been suspended.

Investigators said an autopsy determined that Pulido had been under the influence of alcohol and methadone during the crash.

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