Police / Fire

Fire chief helps locate hit-and-run suspect

Michael O'Connor led police to suspect's car

On Super Bowl Sunday, around 9:50 p.m., Hollister Police officers responded to the 800 block of South Street regarding the report of a hit-and-run collision. Hollister Fire Chief Mike O’Connor located the fleeing suspect's car and led police to the suspect. 

Officers were dispatched to the vehicle collision where a witness described a car crashing into other parked vehicles on South Street. The witness observed the suspect car then drive away from the area westbound. O’Connor was also responding to the crash when he noticed a vehicle driving on Monterey Street matching the description of the suspect vehicle with corresponding car damage. O’Connor notified responding police officers and led them to Washington Street where the suspect parked the vehicle and fled on foot. 

A perimeter was set up around the area where the suspect was last seen. The suspect was eventually located hiding in a garage located in Grubb Alley. Mauro Merino, 20, from Hollister was identified as the driver and displayed objective symptoms of intoxication, according to police. He was arrested by Hollister Police officers and transported to Hazel Hawkins Hospital for medical clearance. He was later booked at the San Benito County Jail for suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run. 

Anyone having information on this case or any other pending investigation is asked to call the Hollister Police Department at 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-87-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward. 

BenitoLink Staff