Driver denies knowing he hit & killed bicyclist, surveillance proves he knew | Crime
Lakeland, Florida-- Polk County Deputies arrested 21-year-old Richard Schenfield after linking him to the traffic fatality that left a man riding his bicycle dead on Tuesday. Schenfield originally denied any knowledge of the crash.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. this past Tuesday, deputies responded to Deeson Rd. and Cherry Rd., where they found the body of 51-year-old William Franklin Moates lying in the middle of the roadway.
Officials say deputies pronounced him dead at the scene, as his undamaged bicycle lay nearby on the dead-end roadway with limited traffic.
Reports say a concerned citizen driving on the road saw Moates' body and called to report the crash, though no other vehicles were initially present.
While waiting for law enforcement to respond, reports say, a black, 1997 Honda, driven by 21-year-old Richard Schenfield pulled up.
During their investigation, deputies recovered evidence from the scene indicating the suspect vehicle may have damage underneath the driver’s side front wheel.
They interviewed Schenfield, who they say, stated he left his house down the road a little earlier to go get cigarettes, and denied any knowledge of the crash.
Reports say deputies detected an odor of alcohol on Schenfield and suspected he may have been intoxicated.
Schenfield cooperated with deputies, consenting to a voluntary blood draw, signing a Miranda Waiver, and allowing his car to be transported for a detailed inspection.
Traffic deputies found additional evidence under Schenfield’s car linking him to the crash.
Video surveillance obtained from the Circle K convenience store nearby captured images of Schenfield getting out of his car and examining its front before entering the store.
While in the store, Schenfield purchased an alcoholic beverage and walked back to his vehicle, where he examined his car for a second time, before getting in and driving away.
Deputies say they arrested Schenfield three days later, July 20, and charged him with Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash with a Fatality and Failure to Obtain a Valid Florida Driver’s License.