Police say they have the man responsible for running over a homeless man on Tuesday night.
Darrin Spivey, 31, of 14312 Leisure Lane, was arrested Thursday on charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing death and tampering with evidence.
No one actually witnessed the 8 p.m. collision on Broad Street, but good tips from people who suspected Spivey’s involvement or heard the crash helped crack the case for investigators, according to Police Chief George Turner.
Detectives spent most of Thursday trying to track down Spivey and finally convinced him to come to the police station for an interview. There, Spivey eventually confessed to striking the victim, David Williams, 51, with his green Chevy pickup and leaving the scene, the police chief said.
Spivey’s defense was that he “panicked” and that he didn’t think authorities would believe his story because he is a registered sex offender, Turner said.
Regardless of motives, Spivey drove for as long as he could on the truck’s flat tire before pulling over and calling a friend for a ride. The next day, he went to Tampa to buy a new hood for his truck, which had a “coconut-sized” dent, and a replacement headlight, the police chief said.
Spivey reportedly hid the damaged hood in his mother’s garage. Turner said she had no knowledge of the crash.
The police chief said Spivey didn’t drive his pickup to the police department for his interview Thursday.
On Friday, investigators were verifying the chain of events leading up to the crash. Spivey told detectives that he had spent the day fishing before dropping by his girlfriend’s house for a few hours.
He was driving north on Broad Street, in between Saxon Avenue and Mondon Hill Road, when he struck Williams from behind, Turner said. Investigators believe Williams was riding his bicycle on the pavement, but outside the white line. He was wearing dark clothing at the time of his death.
Police were summoned to help about 30 minutes after the 8 p.m. collision.
Records show Spivey has an arrest record dating back to age 17, when he was convicted of grand theft and vehicle burglary. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to committing a sex act in the presence of a minor and was labeled a sex offender. In 2007, he was sentenced to a year’s probation for DUI.
Turner said Spivey admitted to drinking a few beers while fishing, but detectives are still determining whether alcohol or drugs played any role in the crash.
Tribune researcher Stephanie Pincus contributed to this report. Reporter Kyle Martin can be reached at 352-544-5271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.