Driver accused of killing man with SUV faces murder counts, says he was trying to flee a beating

Officials: Victim may have been hit intentionally

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - After allegedly running someone over with an SUV and running away, a man is in custody facing possible murder charges.

Roberto Carlos Silva-Jaquez told 7NEWS that he is not a murderer.

Investigators said Silva-Jaquez, 39, was behind the wheel of a Ford Bronco that hit a man in the Pioneer Village Mobile Home Park.

During an exclusive interview with 7NEWS Reporter Lance Hernandez, Silva-Jaquez said it was an accident. He said two men confronted him earlier in the evening outside Tequila Le Club at 5115 Federal Blvd. and asked him about one of his family members who had called police before to report minor problems.

"Like scratching my car... or playing the stereo too loud," he said.

During the confrontation outside the bar, Silva-Jaquez said one of the men lost a hat and the other lost a cell phone. Silva-Jaquez said he drove to the mobile home park to return those items.

He said both men attacked him and one had a bat.

Silva-Jaquez said that's when he tried to drive away.

When asked  how the car ended up in the front yard and into the corner of the mobile home, Silva-Jaquez replied, "This happened too fast. I'm scared. My life was in danger."

Silva-Jaquez said one of the men tried to pull him down, just as he was accelerating. The SUV shot forward as a result. 

He said he didn't intend to kill anyone.

"I intended to escape because there were too many hits.  My head was hit several times," Silva-Jaquez said while pointing out deep bruises on his shoulder, hands and legs.

Residents of the mobile home park, which is located near West 63rd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, said they were awakened by a loud crash around 2:30 a.m. on Friday.

Brian Baylog said he ran outside and saw an SUV parked at an angle in the street, then saw his neighbor, Ramon Blanco, lying on the grass a few feet away.

"I reached under his head and held his back and picked him up, because he was gurgling on his blood," Baylog said. "I started yelling for neighbors to call 911.

Baylog told 7NEWS that Blanco had stopped breathing by the time the ambulance arrived and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Neither the Adams County Coroner nor the Adams County Sheriff have officially released the name of the victim.  Family members confirmed it was Blanco.

After the crash, Silva Jaquez apparently fled on foot, but not until after a confrontation with Blanco's 15-year-old son, Luis Manriquez.

Manriquez told 7NEWS that he was asleep in the mobile home when he heard the crash.

He said he ran out of the house and saw the driver pick up a chain.

"He hit me in the head with it," Manriquez said. "I got mad and I took the chain and hit him."

He said that's when the driver took off running.

Silva-Jaquez was arrested, Gregory said, after investigators took custody of his vehicle and interviewed several witnesses. He is being held without bond in the Adams County Detention Facility for investigation of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and 2nd degree assault.

The suspect said he had no idea there was someone in front  of his SUV when he stepped on the accelerator.

He said, "It happened so fast."

When asked about the serious charges he could face, Silva-Jaquez said, "If I have to pay something, I'm going to pay," but it shouldn't be for murder.