July 26, 2017

Hit-and-run suspect was deported 15 times in 15 years

13 May 2017, 01:16 | Clarence Schmidt

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

An oft-deported Mexican citizen accused of driving drunk and fleeing the scene after blowing through a stop sign and crashing his truck into a vehicle, seriously injuring a 6-year-old boy, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges.

Lennox, strapped in a vehicle seat in the backseat of the auto, suffered serious injuries in the crash, including a fractured skull and bleeding from his nose and ears.

Lennox Lake had the time of his life at Disneyland Saturday.

A mother, father and their 6-year-old son were returning from a trip to Disneyland when, according to the survivors' family, a man in a pickup truck turned a corner, smashed into their auto and sped off.

According to Cheryl Lake, Lennox's grandmother, his family and doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that he will make a full recovery, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. His parents had minor injuries. "I explained to him what happened", said Benjamin Lake, the boy's father.

Border Patrol Spokesman Eduardo Olmos says the man responsible, Constantino Banda-Acosta, had been deported 15 times before.

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Banda-Acosta was charged with driving under the influence, hit and run with injury, and driving without a license.

Later, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement found that Banda-Acosta is an undocumented immigrant who has been deported at least 15 times since 2002, most recently last January. He was ordered held on $230,000 bail.

Lake's dad choked up as he described how his son anxious about his parents immediately after police believe 38-year-old Constantino Banda-Acosta T-boned them. If convicted he could face nearly eight years in prison.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has lodged a detainer against Mr. Banda seeking to take him into custody if and when he is released by local authorities to pursue additional immigration enforcement action and/or criminal prosecution", the statement reads.

Their son started crying and told medics, "I'm fine, I'm fine". "He can't open one of his eyes, so he's kind of scared about why he can't see".

The woman told the station 10News her estranged husband was deported from the United States on or around January 10, but returned 10 days later. "[I hope] justice does their job and things work out the right way", said Lake.

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