72-year-old man ordered held on $100,000 bond after hit-and-run crash

Suspect told detective he served 20 years in prison during Cocaine Cowboy era

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 72-year-old man appeared in bond court Tuesday, a day after he was arrested in a hit-and-run crash that injured a pedestrian.

A Miami-Dade police detective who interviewed the suspect after the incident spoke in court Tuesday.

He said the suspect, Leon Morton, knew he hit someone, but didn't know the 54-year-woman was still alive.  

Police said the victim was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center with serious injuries.  

Surveillance video shows the driver take off, leaving her in the middle of the road.

Authorities said the hit-and-run occurred just after 7 p.m. Monday in the 4700 block of Northwest 32nd Avenue.

Police said he was followed by a witness. 

The detective then caught up to Morton four hours later at a gas station, where the detective said he found a vodka bottle in the suspect's pocket during a pat down. He said Morton told him he couldn't go back to jail.

"The defendant did make a statement that back in the '80s he was part of the Cocaine Cowboy era and he has served 20 years in federal prison," the detective said.  

Witness Mike Abed said the victim was attempting to walk across Northwest 32nd Avenue near 47th Street when she was struck.  

"The truck hit her and kept going, and I went to help the lady. She is down on the street," Abed said.  

Surveillance video from a nearby business shows vehicles slamming on their brakes before Morton drove off.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials arrived minutes later and took the woman to the hospital.

"We are human. At least stop by, help or do something. Don't run away," Abed said.  

Morton is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond. He faces a charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injuries


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