Modesto police arrested 51-year-old Raymond Hansen on Wednesday for allegedly hitting and killing a homeless Air Force veteran on April 13 as the man slept in a Salvation Army Family Store parking lot.
The arrest concludes a nearly two-month search for a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run of 59-year-old Richard Lane.
Hansen, who was living in Ceres at the time of his arrest, is being held in jail without bail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, MPD spokeswoman Sharon Bear said.
Lane’s niece, Ashley Moskowitz, said she is thankful for the community’s hard work in capturing Hansen.
“We are thankful for the police for doing their job and thankful to the public for getting the word out and helping,” Moskowitz said.
Lane was hit on April 13 while sleeping in the parking lot of the Salvation Army Family Store near Yosemite Boulevard and La Loma Avenue. According to witness accounts to police, Hansen briefly got out of his car after he struck Lane, but then got back in and drove away.
The victim’s sister, Laura Lane, told The Modesto Bee earlier that witnesses to the accident told family the driver was drunk and laughed when he got out of his car.
“Then he asked a number of homeless that just witnessed this if any of them wanted a cold beer,” Lane wrote in a Facebook post she sent to The Bee.
Lane was taken to a hospital in critical condition, then transferred to a convalescent hospital two weeks later. He died May 11, 29 days after he was struck, officials said.
Bear said police had to verify the information they had received from witness accounts and police investigations before determining Hansen was their suspect.
She also said police still are asking for witnesses or anyone with further information about the accident to contact Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips also can be submitted via www.stancrimetips.org.