A Morgan Hill man was arrested March 20 shortly after he fled the scene of a hit-and-run accident just before 3 p.m. The incident involved three vehicles at the Vineyard Town Center parking lot off West Edmundson Avenue at Monterey Street in Morgan Hill.
Xavier Bonton, 21, of Morgan Hill, was seen by witnesses speeding through the parking lot in a 1985 four-door Cadillac sedan when he collided with a 2004 Ford Taurus, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an unoccupied, parked 2013 four-door Buick in front of a Starbuck’s coffee house.
Bonton then exited his vehicle, “appeared panicked” and “looked around nervously,” according to witness reports given to the Morgan Hill police officers, before fleeing south through the parking lot on foot. While some witnesses screamed for him to stop, others chased after the suspect but to no avail. One witness told police that he recognized Bonton as the suspect because he went to high school with him. Bonton was later seen getting into another vehicle, according to the police report.
The driver of the Ford Taurus, described as an elderly woman, complained of pain after being extracted from her vehicle. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Meanwhile, officers searched the suspect’s Buick and discovered an “airsoft pistol,” which is a type of replica firearm that shoots pellets, or BBs.
Bonton later called into the Morgan Hill Police Department, told officers that he had been involved in a car accident and admitted to fleeing the scene, saying he “fled because he was afraid.”
Officers then went to Bonton’s Morgan Hill residence and arrested him. He was charged with hit and run with injury and hit and run with property damage for the car accident. Officers also charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia and with manufacturing of a controlled substance upon a search of his home.
Bonton was recently arraigned at the South County Courthouse.
Scott Forstner is a general assignment reporter who covers education and other community issues for the Morgan Hill Times. Reach him at (408) 847-7158 or via email at email@example.com