Deputies: Driver arrested in hit-and-run that killed father, injured 3 in New Caney
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — The man allegedly being behind the wheel during a fatal hit-and-run in New Caney has been arrested. The incident left a father of two dead and three others injured as the driver escaped a confrontation at 16-year-old girl’s birthday, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.
Raul Najera, 25, was taken into custody Wednesday at his home in the 600 block of Frisco Street. He is expected to face charges in connection to the death of Ray Jasso, 29. The suspect is being held at the Montgomery County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
Investigators have also arrested Emmanuel Olivares, who was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the incident. The sheriff’s office said no charges are pending for Olivares at this time.
Officers responded to a disturbance call around midnight on July 2 at a house party in the 18200 block of Emerald Court. Jasso, who lives in the neighborhood, was outside lighting fireworks with his daughters when several unwanted guests arrived at the party of 80 to 100 people.
Investigators said the party crashers — a young woman accompanied by a group of young men — were asked to leave the party, at which the woman allegedly assaulted a parent. Deputies said the boys joined in the assault before the group ran away, climbing into a gray 2002 Chevrolet Suburban.
When disturbance started, deputies said Jasso immediately grabbed his children and sat them inside a truck.
Some party guests threw rocks at the suburban as it backed out, hitting another vehicle, a fence and then the four victims. Jasso was run over as second time as the vehicle sped off, investigators said. It was reported the vehicle had chrome wheels and running boards that hit the victims.
A family member with medical experience tended to the Jasso’s wounds until paramedics arrived, and the father was taken to Conroe Regional Hospital. Jasso died hours later.
Officers said a second victim was also taken to the hospital in stable condition and has since been released. The remaining two victims did not seek professional medical treatment, the sheriff’s office said.
Najera’s vehicle was found Monday night near I-610 in north Houston. Investigators said the passenger inside the vehicle was identified, but Najera was gone when officers arrived.
According to deputies, witnesses described one of the suspects as a young woman with long, curly and reddish-colored hair.
At one point during the investigation, officers detained a person of interest who had recently been released from jail, but it was determined he wasn’t involved and sheriffs let him go.
The sheriff’s office said social media platforms — including SnapChat and Facebook — quickly became overwhelmed with pictures and video taken during the incident.
Investigators said images showed a young man with tattoos on both sides of his face: a star on his right cheek and an unrecognizable tattoo on his left. That young man was later identified as Olivares.
While reviewing multiple videos from that night, a detective found a single frame that revealed the suspected vehicle’s license plate number.
Using tips and vehicle information, investigators were able to find and arrests the two suspects.
The Texas Rangers also helped in the suspect’s arrest.