Hit-and-run suspect knew deputies were looking for him but remained silent

Posted at 4:57 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 18:01:45-04

A Judge set bond at $101 thousand for the suspect in the hit and run that killed a Polk County mother and seriously injured the deputy trying to help her.

Charles Lewis appeared by video in the courtroom with his public defender on charges of vehicular homicide and that he left the scene of an accident causing injury and death.

Investigators say Lewis was behind the wheel of the truck when Jessica Enchautegui and Deputy Adam Pennell and then took off, claiming he didn’t know what he hit.

“How could he not know or see that there were human lives,” said Maria Enchautegui, Jessica’s mother. “He took the life of my daughter, he took the life of my grand kids mother, and the life of a family member that everybody loved.”

New documents out today reveal Lewis was at a Halloween party that night at The Coop bar near Lake Wales.

He admitted to drinking four beers, and the manager, Lynn Robarts, remembers serving him.

“Couple beers and he leaves. I’ve never seen the man drunk and I’ve never seen him stay very long. He drops in, has a couple beers over an hour and a half or so and he leaves,” she said.

Just after midnight that night, he left the bar and came up on flashing blue and red lights on State Road 60.

It was Deputy Adam Pennell’s cruiser. He was helping Enchautegui, who just crashed her car.

Lewis told investigators that by the time he saw the lights, he swerved into the median and hit something but didn’t know what.

He never stopped.

MORE: Suspect in deadly hit-and-run accident arrested

According to the arrest affidavit, he later told detectives that he knew they were looking for a suspect in the hit and run and figured it was him, but never turned himself in.

Deputy Pennell underwent a major operation on Tuesday. He remains in the hospital but is recovering.v