Port Neches hit-and-run suspect arrested; police detail investigation process

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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PORT NECHES — A 34-year-old Port Neches man was arrested Tuesday on a warrant in connection with an auto-pedestrian type crash, where a driver fled the scene.

Port Neches Police Chief Cheri Griffith said Andrew Barnett was charged with the felony crime of collision involving personal injury or death for Sunday’s crash.

On Sunday, officers responded to the 2400 block of Earle Street. It was reported that a vehicle had struck a pedestrian and left the scene, according to information from PNPD.

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Officers located the victim, a 25-year-old male, semi-conscious in a neighboring yard. They observed he had what appeared to be a fractured leg and injuries to his mouth.

He was taken shortly after to the hospital.

Officers assessed the scene and spoke with neighbors.

They were able to determine a vehicle traveling east on Earle Street, crossed over the westbound lane and then drove approximately six feet into the front yards of several houses. Police said the vehicle struck the victim, who was taking out his trash.

Witnesses who saw the vehicle leaving the scene described it as a 4-door white truck and stated it left Earle Street traveling north on Magnolia Avenue.

On Monday morning, Capt. Jesse Fournet was able to track down video of the vehicle, and investigators began looking for the vehicle.

In addition,. Fournet communicated this information to the oncoming night shift and provided them with still shots from the video.

While working night shift, Officer Justin Porter located a vehicle, which matched the truck description/photo and conducted a traffic stop on the truck.

Information gathered during the field investigation led officers to believe the sole occupant/driver of the truck was the suspect from the incident on Earle.

Detectives were called to the scene and continued the investigation, including an interview of the driver.

At that time, the driver of the truck was arrested for traffic violations and the truck was impounded.

Investigators continued work Tuesday morning and gathered additional information solidifying the case. They filed the case with the District Attorney’s office Tuesday afternoon and obtained a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.

Officers working patrol were notified of the warrant and shortly after, arrested the suspect at his place of business.

He was taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and booked in on the felony charge of “Collision Involving Personal Injury or Death.”

Investigators paid several visits to the victim at the hospital during this investigation. He ultimately suffered fractures of his left femur, and left lower leg, multiple fractures of his jaw and had several teeth knocked out.

He is currently in stable condition.

“We appreciate the witnesses who provided officers with information. Also, thank you to all the officers and investigators who worked tirelessly on this case for the past several days,” a news release stated. “Their initiative, collaboration, and proactive efforts are commendable.”