Suspected hit-and-run driver held in lieu of $300,000 bond

Juan Fernandez, 17, declared brain dead

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A suspected driver wanted in connection to a hit-and-run that left a teen bicyclist brain dead was arrested Thursday evening, Miami-Dade police said.

Alan George Alvarez, 48, appeared in bond court Friday afternoon and was ordered to be held in jail in lieu of $300,000 bond. The judge said Alvarez would also be placed on house arrest if he bonds out, and is not allowed to drive a car or drink alcohol.

Police said they found the SUV that struck 17-year-old Juan Fernandez in Miami-Dade Wednesday.

The 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe was found abandoned Thursday in the northeast corner of Northwest 101st St. and 27th Ave. Police said it had been reported stolen, but later discovered that Alvarez's son and mother had reported the vehicle stolen in an attempt to put the blame on someone else. Meanwhile, Alvarez was allegedly hiding out at his girlfriend's home in Homestead.

According to officers, Fernandez was traveling on the sidewalk on Northwest 103rd Street near 28th Court when the SUV veered onto the sidewalk and struck him.

Police said Alvarez fled the scene without stopping or rendering aid to Fernandez.

Alvarez was placed under arrest Thursday evening and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury.

A police sergeant also appeared in bond court Friday and claimed Alvarez admitted to going to a bar and then remembering having blackouts and hitting something or someone. He said Alvarez later back-tracked his story throughout questioning.

Local 10 News has learned that Alvarez has been arrested three times on DUI charges, twice for possession of cocaine, and once on a third-degree grand theft charge.

Fernandez remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where a friend of the family tells Local 10 News that he has been declared brain dead. She said Fernandez remains hooked up to life support because his organs will be donated.

The woman said the family plans to bury Fernandez in Honduras and they have set up an account under his name to pay for funeral expenses. You can donate by depositing funds into Bank of America account 229025061517.

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Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.