Texas man drove with 'mangled corpse' in passenger seat after running it over, police say

Texas man drove with \
Texas man drove with \'mangled corpse\' in passenger seat after running it over, police say  

AUSTIN - A driver has been accused of drunkenly hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in South Austin over the weekend, traveling at least a half-mile with the body before stopping at a beer garden, according to court documents.

Austin police officers responded to the 10000 block of Menchaca Road, just south of West Slaughter Lane, on Saturday at 10:36 p.m.

Witnesses told officers they saw a 2014 white Ford Focus hit a person walking near Slaughter Lane and then drive south on Menchaca Road, an arrest affidavit says.

The body of the pedestrian, who has not been identified, went through the Ford's windshield and was found in the passenger seat of the vehicle a half-mile south from where the crash happened, the affidavit says.

The pedestrian had extreme, traumatic injuries to their head and some body parts had been detached, the affidavit says.

Witnesses said the driver, who was identified by police as 24-year-old Paul Joseph Garcia, calmly walked away from the vehicle after parking it south of where the pedestrian was hit, the affidavit says.

Garcia, police said, walked into South Austin Beer Garden at 10700 Menchaca Rd. barefoot and "in a manner that caught the attention of the other patrons," the affidavit says.

Garcia was not served alcohol at the beer garden and officers detained him for further investigation.

Officers found Garcia with blood evidence and other debris on him, which matched "the blood and body tissue found coated in the interior of the vehicle," the affidavit says.

Police conducted sobriety tests on Garcia and placed him under arrest for driving while intoxicated.

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Debris, including car parts and body parts, lined the road for a half-mile from where the pedestrian was hit, the affidavit says.

The evidence in the road, including the lack of brake marks, were consistent with a pedestrian being hit in the right lane of southbound Menchaca Road, the affidavit says.

The pedestrian was pushing a shopping cart in the road when the crash happened, police said.

"The impact with the vehicle pushed the cart into a cluster of mailboxes with enough force to bend a two-inch diameter, galvanized steel post that supported mailboxes," the affidavit says.

Witnesses reported seeing the Ford without headlights on and being driven recklessly at a high speed.

Police said Garcia was charged with intoxication manslaughter because he was driving without regard for the safety of others, including "continuing to drive for one-half miles with a mangled corpse in the vehicle," the affidavit says.

Garcia is in the Travis County Correctional Complex and has been charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and accident involving injury, according to online Travis County records.

He has a combined bail amount of $110,000, the records say.

Follow Kelsey Bradshaw on Twitter: @KBrad5

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas man drove with corpse in passenger seat after running it over


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