On Thursday, January 9, at approximately 6:45 p.m., a 61-year-old Tulare man was struck by a vehicle as he walked across the street near the intersection of West Inyo and D Street. The driver of the vehicle that struck him did not stop and fled the scene as he continued eastbound on West Inyo. The victim was immediately transported to Kaweah Delta Hospital with severe injuries. On Monday, the victim, Marcelino Escobedo, succumbed to his injuries.

On Tuesday night, at approximately 7:14 p.m., the Tulare Police Department Traffic Team, with the assistance of the Investigation Unit, served a search warrant regarding this case in the 100 block of South Sacramento Street and arrested 50-year-old Leonardo Villasenor for felony hit and run. 

Villasenor was transported to the Tulare Police Department for booking and an interview.

Villasenor was identified after calls started coming after his photo was released to the media and the Tulare Police Department Facebook page. The Tulare Police Department would like to express their gratitude to the public for their assistance.

Villasenor was uncooperative regarding the whereabouts of his vehicle. It is believed that someone is hiding the vehicle for him or knows where it is. The Tulare Police Department would like to remind everyone that anyone who is assisting Villasenor by hiding, moving or tampering with the vehicle can and will be charged with “accessory after the fact”. Tulare police are still actively looking for this vehicle. If you know where the vehicle is, call the Tulare Police Department.


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