DA: More charges against 7-11 hit-and-run suspect who rammed into man in front of his children

Fanya Weatherspoon faces 14 counts total

DENVER - The Denver District Attorney has filed 10 additional charges against a woman accused of intentionally ramming her car into an Aurora man while he was renting a movie from a Red Box machine at 11th Avenue and Yosemite Street on Jan. 3.

The victim, Alejandro Lopez, suffered a broken leg and nearly had to have it amputated after infection set in.

The driver of the car, Fanya Weatherspoon, was arrested April 9, and was initially charged with first degree assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of felony menacing and a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

Now, the DA has tacked on an additional count of bias-motivated crime, second degree assault, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, two counts of second degree assault causing injury with a deadly weapon, two counts of felony menacing and two counts of child abuse with no injury.

The additional counts are related to the victim's two children and a friend, who were standing beside him when he was hit and pinned against the movie rental machine.

Lopez told 7NEWS that he, his children and friend had gone to the 7-Eleven on Yosemite to get some snacks.

He said his son swung a bag of chips which hit his little sister in the face.

A witness said Lopez' son also stepped on Weatherspoon's foot and that she told Lopez if the child were hers, she would spank him. Lopez said his friend told Weatherspoon to mind her own business.

The father said he paid for his snacks then went outside to rent a movie from the Red Box machine.

He said Weatherspoon and two other people got into her car, backed out of their space, then drove over the curb stop and hit him.

Court documents obtained by 7NEWS state that Weatherspoon missed on the first attempt, so she backed up, put her car in drive and stepped on the gas, hitting Lopez on the second attempt.

The impact broke his right leg. It later became infected. Doctors initially thought they might have to amputate it, but were able to save it with 15 surgeries -- most of them deep tissue skin grafts.

"She ruined my life," Lopez said.

Police searched for the suspect for more than three months.

After releasing video of the hit-and-run incident to 7NEWS, they were able to identify Weatherspoon, but it still took a while to track her down.

Lopez said that several weeks after the incident, he saw the suspect at a grocery store. He said he snapped photos of her car, and noted that there was some damage to the right front end. A few days later, police located the car and impounded it.

It's not the first time Weatherspoon has been involved in a hit-and-run. Court records show she was involved in a previous hit-and-run Dec. 1, 2009. There were no injuries. Weatherspoon pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

The arrest affidavit in the more recent case states that Weatherspoon, who sources say claims to be a born again Christian, told two witnesses they better keep their mouths shut.

When asked if he or his friend said anything racially motivated to Weatherspoon, Lopez said no, but that Weatherspoon did.

"When she found out that someone spit on her window she said, 'dirty Mexicans,'" he said.

Lopez' attorney, F. Less Maes told 7NEWS that "even without a racial component, (Weatherspoon's) behavior is totally inexcusable. To use a vehicle and to hit them, it doesn't matter what the situation is, you're taking it to a whole new level of danger and certainly threatening the life of a person."

Weatherspoon has a Colorado criminal history dating to 1991, including arrests for child abuse, assault, domestic violence, harassment, damaging property and failing to report an auto accident.

Maes said the Red Box hit-and-run case is an example of why police should release video more often.

"That video helped identify the suspect," he said. "I think the city should adopt a policy whereby if they have photos and video, they should involve the media."

Maes said that he's glad to see the wheels of justice slowly begin to turn.

"In some cases," he said, "justice will flow, but sometimes the victims don't get fully compensated and this may be one of those cases."

He said he still doesn't know if Weatherspoon was driving without insurance.

Maes said that his client's medical bills are skyrocketing, so a fund has been set up to help defray some of the costs.

It is the Alejandro Lopez Vargas fund at Wells Fargo Bank.

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