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Suspect in Fairfield hit-and-run arraigned; victim’s family makes presence known

News 12
News 12
 2022-08-10

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A Bridgeport man arrested for a hit-and-run crash that killed a motorcyclist from Fairfield went before a judge for the first time Wednesday. Jairo Lopez-Bonilla, 39, was arraigned in Bridgeport Superior Court on charges of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility resulting in death.

It was a difficult day for the family of victim Hazem Mohamed, 26. A dozen loved ones were at the arraignment, which was the first time they saw Lopez-Bonilla.

MORE: 'It still doesn't feel real.' Family in shock following fatal Fairfield hit-and-run
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“It’s just, it’s hard to see him out,” said Abby Calderon, Mohamed’s sister. Calderon spoke to News 12 through tears, holding hands with Mohamed’s sister after court. “If he cared, he would have stayed and helped him, and maybe we’d be in a different situation,” Calderon said.

Mohamed was killed while out on a ride last Tuesday evening. Fairfield police said he was on Kings Highway East near Jennings Road when Lopez-Bonilla drove into him and never stopped. Police tracked down Lopez-Bonilla later that night and arrested him. He posted $250,000 bond hours later, much to the dismay of Mohamad's family.

In court, Lopez-Bonilla pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial, which is standard. Judge Tracey Lee Dayton ordered him not to drive and to turn over his passport as conditions of his bond release.

The attorney for Mohamed’s family, Johnpatrick O’Brien, joined them in court and addressed the judge briefly. “He was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. He was a loved one, and that’s gone now,” O’Brien said as he pointed out the family’s presence. “The family just wanted to make sure the court was aware that they’re going to be here for every hearing, and all they ask for is justice.”

Lopez-Bonilla’s attorney Dennis Bradley told News 12, “This is a tragic incident without a shadow of a doubt. We have a passing of a young person, and our hearts are with family, who are obviously grieving at this time.”

Bradley said there is still an investigation into what happened and asked people not to rush to judgment until all the information comes out.

“The facts will show, and I think the people should see, that this is not an incident where somebody was being belligerent, malicious, or operated with any malice to produce any type of injury to any person,” Bradley said.

Lopez-Bonilla is back in court Oct. 4.

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