FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When the Fort Wayne officer got to the crash, he found a woman lying in the far right lane of Spy Run Avenue, her head bleeding into the asphalt. She had extensive facial injuries and it looked like she’d lost all her teeth.
A witness told Officer Jacob Sherman that a man driving a flat black Dodge Durango with red lining on the rims and tinted windows struck the woman and fled north on Spy Run, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Drew Ryan Dent, 25, was charged Tuesday with leaving the scene of an accident on May 7 around 10 p.m. resulting in death or catastrophic injury.
He was released on $10,000 bond Tuesday after being booked into the Allen County Jail Monday evening, according to a jail spokesperson.
Sherman observed muddy tracks trailing from a parking lot on Baltes Avenue across from the Old Fort and determined the vehicle had gone through a puddle of standing water on the south side of Baltes before the vehicle turned to go north on Spy Run. In the same muddy tire tracks, Sherman found a pair of crushed prescription eyeglasses and a pile of pooled blood where he found the victim, court documents said.
Although the probable cause affidavit doesn’t indicate when Fort Wayne police located Dent’s vehicle, there was still mud on the driver side fender as well as both front and rear doors when they did. Along the driver side there were also visible smeared finger/handprints and on the rear drive side window.
FWPD detective Chris Hoffman observed “a great deal of heat coming from the front engine compartment,” indicated it had been running recently. He also found a single human hair held to the door by mud splatter, court documents said.
The investigation continued when homicide detective Darrin Strayer was able to interview a female witness who said she’d gotten a call from Dent that night shortly after the incident. Dent told her he and the woman were out drinking before they pulled into the parking lot off Spy Run and “got into it.”
The two had a physical altercation and when he pulled away from the parking lot his glasses had been knocked off, the same glasses found at the intersection of Baltes and Spy Run.
He said he “possibly” hit the victim , that “she may have been hanging on to the car” and that “she might be dead.”
He didn’t give any motivation for why he left the victim in the street, court documents said. Dent said people saw the incident and he believed he would be going to prison.
Dent said he left his Durango at an apartment complex because he was scared which aligns with information that officers found it quickly on Griswold Drive off Tennessee Avenue, only a half mile from the intersection where the incident took place.
That night Strayer was able to contact Dent who told him he was scared to give an interview because he was afraid he’d be arrested. He also admitted that he wore glasses and they got knocked off at the scene of the crash.
Dent also called one of the victim’s relatives who said Dent reported being “surrounded by police,” and that Dent explained the victim was hanging on to the vehicle after an argument. Other witnesses corroborated the story.
When Strayer met with the victim four days later, she was still in the ICU and could only communicate by writing, using her hands or shaking her head. She had had a tracheotomy because of her injuries.
She told Strayer the two had been drinking at Trubble Brewing and Dot and Line Brewing. She asked for the white Crocs left behind at the scene that Sherman noted in his report.
The victim’s injuries included facial fractures, a broken jaw, lung contusions, blood on her lungs and she was to be intubated due to a collapsed airway. Surgeries followed the next week for facial reconstruction and removal of a feeding tube, court documents said.
SnapChat video posted by Dent showed alcoholic beverages and labels for Dot and Line on the night of the incident.
Dent has a hearing Thursday in front of Allen Superior Court magistrate John Bohdan.