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Deputies search for hit-and-run driver who intentionally hit two men in Haines City

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 05:47:59-04

HAINES CITY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in their search for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally hit two people in Haines City.

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Deputies said the driver of a black Ford F-150 intentionally hit two people on Saturday, around 10:30 p.m., after an argument near Brin Road and Cattle Trail Road in Haines City.

Anselmo Salazar, 35 of Ocoee, received minor injuries. Hugo Zarate Gonzalez, 34 of Orlando, was severely injured and transported to the Osceola Regional Medical Center, where he is in critical/stable condition, after another man jumped out of the way of the F-150. Both Salazar and Gonzalez had left a large party on the Rancho Los Pinos private property in the 5500 block of Hinson Avenue when a verbal argument turned physical.

Deputies said the driver was last seen leaving the property and traveling west on Cattle Trail Road. They also said there were several other people inside the truck and are trying to identify those involved.

Once arrested, the suspect faces two counts of Aggravated Battery (F-2) and one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (F-3).

"The video capturing this incident is shocking and it's amazing no one died as a result of this intentional act," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "If you saw something that evening, please say something! Call Crime Stoppers and earn some cash. We hope Mr. Gonzalez will be able to recover quickly from his injuries."

If anyone has any information on the identity of the driver of the black Ford F-150, or others there that night, please contact Detective Watson at 863-236-3900 or call Heartland Crime Stoppers - call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), submit a tip online or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet. You will always remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.