FERNDALE, Wash. — Lummi Nation Police Department (LNPD) officers were dispatched on April 24th about 9:45pm to a parking lot in the 2800 block of Haxton Way due to a report of a car versus pedestrian hit and run incident. They arrived to find the victim lying in the parking lot in pain and bleeding.
According to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest, the victim was able to tell the officers he had been struck by a dark colored pickup truck that then left the scene. A witness told officers about hearing a thud, watching a dark colored pickup truck leave the area quickly and then seeing the victim on the ground.
Officers were able to review surveillance video inside and outside of the business and said they could see the driver of the pickup make a credit card purchase and later got into the driver’s side of the suspect pickup prior to the incident. The suspect’s name was linked to a person with a residence in Whatcom County.
The next day, officers learned the victim had suffered broken bones and a possible head injury.
The suspect contacted LNPD the day after hearing they had been looking for him the night before. He confirmed being at the parking lot and that he drives pickup of the same make, model and description of the suspect vehicle.
On June 15th, the suspect, identified as Jose Rodriguez-Ramirez, age 44, of Custer, was mailed a summons to make a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on July 22nd. He was booked and released that day from Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of felony hit and run involving injury.
This news report is missing important facts regarding this incident. Mr. Ramirez was never arrested for this crime. He appeared in court last Friday where he pled not guilty and was asked by the judge to turn himself in to be processed and then would be released. He has no insurance nor was he properly charged. He should have been charged with vehicular assault according to WA State Statutes however the DA failed to view the security surveillance tapes provided by the Lummi PD which clearly showed that he had been drinking ran a stop sign while speeding and running over an elderly disabled veteran in a crosswalk (not in a parking lot). His conduct was more than just a hit and run because he was driving recklessly and caused serious bodily injury resulting in over 500k in medical bills and permanent injuries requiring hospitalization rehabilitation and surgeries. WA has denied the victim any assistance in paying the medical bills staying that Mr Ramirez would have to be charged with a vehicular assault before they could help the elderly disabled veteran. Mr Ramirez has a history of DUIs and he drove off leaving his victim for dead. Lummi PD had a clear conflict of interest in fully prosecuting this case and had delayed providing a police report to the victim for over 6 weeks. The casino likely over served Mr Ramirez prior to him running the victim over. Mr Ramirez is a resident of FERNDALE not Custer. The Casino invites the elderly with special promotions however are seriously understaffed and unable to provide proper oversight and protection for their most vulnerable guests. Their are also jurisdictional issues when crimes committed on the Rez which do not involve natives. The county sheriffs did not arrest Mr Ramirez and instead allowed this menace to continue to pose a risk to others for several months while his victim was bed ridden. His victim cannot pay the medical bills and unless the DA adds the charge of vehicular assault Justice will not be served. We need a DA that is tough on crime and who is more interested in seeking Justice for victims then pandering to political agendas which seek to lesson the number of incarcerations. We have asked the DA to please watch the video surveillance provided by Lummi PD and consider the totality of the circumstances before making a decision on what to charge Mr Ramirez with as many of the statements given in the Police Report are inaccurate or unsubstantiated. If he watches the video it is clear that Mr Ramirez was both reckless and malevolent and that his actions following the striking of the victim were lawless and deliberate.
Comments are closed.