The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Joshua David Walton, 31, for his connection in a hit-and-run accident that killed 18-year-old skateboarder, Giovanni Saucedo.
Saucedo of San Tan Valley was struck by an SUV while he was riding his skateboard near a curb lane on Sunday evening. His friends found him in a dirt area near Gantzel Road. He was later pronounced dead on Monday evening at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.
On Tuesday evening, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that led detectives to Walton and a Lincoln Navigator. According to what Walton told detectives, he thought he hit a buzzard while on his way to a party to pick up his girlfriend. “Whether he means like a vulture or something large like that, not that we often see them in San Tan Valley … it doesn’t add up,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu. Walton then stayed at the party for some time, according to the sheriff’s office.
Walton admitted that he had seen authorities investigating the scene while driving himself and his girlfriend back down Combs Road. But he failed to stop. “He’s saying that he was quote scared, that he knew he didn’t want to get into trouble. He knew he hit something,” Babeu said. Detectives went on to seize the Lincoln Navigator. It reportedly had damage consistent with evidence found at the scene. Party-goers told detectives Walton was acting unusually and that Walton had told people that the damage on his vehicle was the result of hitting an animal. “It’s horrible,” said Avangelic Saucedo, the victim’s sister. “I don’t know how someone can still like not turn themselves in knowing that they had killed another person.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Walton has prior arrests in Montana for possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence of a narcotic drug, reckless driving, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, and several counts of careless driving. He was also arrested in Washington for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, driving while his license was revoked, and a weapons violation. He does not have a valid Arizona license.
Walton was arrested Thursday, and was charged with a felony for leaving the scene of a fatal truck accident.
“Our detectives worked around the clock, initially with very little suspect information to go on,” Babeu said. “We were all determined to bring closure to this case for the Saucedo family after they lost their son and brother. Thanks to the help from the public, we were able to put Joshua Walton behind bars this afternoon.”