Man who allegedly abandoned injured son after crash pleads not g - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man who allegedly abandoned injured son after crash pleads not guilty

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40-year-old Angelo Fabiani Arroyo 40-year-old Angelo Fabiani Arroyo

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who allegedly crashed his pickup truck on Interstate 5 in the Midway area before running off, leaving behind his badly injured 4-year-old son, pleaded not guilty Thursday to two felony charges in a downtown courtroom.

Angelo Fabiani Arroyo, 40, is accused of fleeing the scene of the Sunday crash at about 8 p.m. near Rosecrans Street.

Deputy District Attorney Teresa Santana said the defendant's pickup, which was hauling a small water-craft trailer, rolled down an ice plant-covered embankment and came to rest with its passenger side atop a concrete retaining wall.

"At that point, the suspect got out of the truck, went around the side, got in the back and unhooked the child's car seat," Santana said. "The child fell out the window, landing about seven feet below on the concrete."

Valentino Fabiani Arroyo was being treated for severe head injuries at Rady Children's Hospital, where the "prognosis is not good," the prosecutor said.

According to Santana, numerous witnesses saw the crash and tried to help the boy as the driver fled. He was arrested Tuesday in Imperial Beach.

"The good Samaritans were nearby.  They rendered aid.  They seemed extremely upset and were concerned for the child, while his own father left the scene," Santana said.

The father was charged with hit-and-run causing serious injury and child endangerment, and faces seven years in prison if convicted, she said. He's on probation for a drunken driving conviction, she said.

Two friends of the defendant said he was a great father who must have panicked when Valentino was hurt.

Fabiani Arroyo went "crazy, crazy" and ran all the way to Imperial Beach, arriving with blisters on his feet, Martha Tolles told reporters after the hearing. Tolles added that she believed Arroyo may have hit his head in the accident.

"He's a beautiful father, a great father, a loving father, and this was a horrible accident," Tolles said.

She said it would take "a miracle from God" for the boy to survive.

Superior Court Judge David Szumowski set bail at $150,000 and scheduled a readiness conference for June 17.

In court, the judge called for a non-contact order, which prohibits Arroyo from seeing his son if he posts bail.

"When we charge felony child abuse, we have to by law put a no-contact order on the perpetrator," Santana explained. 

Loved ones maintain Arroyo is not a perpetrator, but rather a father who would do anything for his son.

"Imagine your son falling from your arms. Please people, have sympathy," Tolles said.

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