General Crime

* Andrew Vargas Pleaded Guilty to DUI Charges after Striking a Child with his Truck after a San Francisco Giants Game

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A Hayward man pleaded guilty today to DUI charges in connection with an incident in San Francisco last August when he struck a boy with his truck and then fled. Andrew Vargas, 22, struck Ryan White with his pickup truck at the intersection of Mission and New Montgomery streets the night of Aug. 4. Ryan, who was 9 years old at the time but has since turned 10, was visiting from Philadelphia with his family and had just left a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies at nearby AT&T Park.

Vargas also struck a woman, causing minor injuries, as well as two parked cars before fleeing. He was stopped and arrested in Hayward, where he lives, about an hour later, police and prosecutors said. He initially pleaded not guilty to felony DUI causing injury and hit-and-run charges, but agreed to plead guilty today in exchange for serving one year in jail and having the hit-and-run charges dismissed. Vargas’ defense attorney Randall Knox said his client “wanted to take responsibility for his actions.”

Knox said Vargas, who had no criminal history and was a recent graduate of California State University, East Bay, had a friend visit from Mexico City and “got carried away drinking and made the horrible decision to get behind the wheel.”

His mother, Xiomara Vargas, talked to reporters outside of court. She began crying and said he “is very, very sorry for what has happened.” Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai said Vargas “is not a horrible person but he made a horrible mistake.” Talai said he has spoken extensively with the White family and “would not have struck the deal we struck without their blessing.” He said Ryan’s health is improving and he is back in school part-time in Philadelphia, but “he still has a long road of recovery ahead of him.”

A statement released by the family following the incident said Ryan had suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as fractures to his pelvis, left leg and ankle and a laceration to his liver. Vargas, who will receive credit for the time he has already served in jail, will likely be released in June at the earliest after he is sentenced, according to Talai. The case will return to court March 21 to set a sentencing date.

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