FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – An anonymous tip led Sunrise police to a man they believe was behind the wheel of an SUV involved in a deadly hit and run accident earlier this year.
Rodney Fraden, 26, has been charge with tampering/fabricating physical evidence, failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident involving a death and driving with a suspended license involving death or a serious injury.
The accident happened on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd, around 9 p.m. John Quintal was riding his bike in the westbound lanes of Sunset Strip when he was struck and killed. Evidence collected at the scene included paint chips and pieces of a headlight. Investigators at the time said the vehicle would have damage on the right side of the front bumper and on the passenger side of the vehicle.
On May 1st, an anonymous caller to the Crime Stoppers hotline said they overheard people talking about how Rodney “”Hotrod” Fradin had hit a woman in Sunrise while driving a Lexus SUV that belonged to his mother.
Sunrise investigators ran a check and found that Fradin’s mother, Myrtha, did have a silver Lexus registered to her. They also found that Rodney Fradin had been cited in the last two years for driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Last Tuesday, investigators tracked Fradin’s SUV to JM Lexus in Pembroke Pines where it had been taken to have the passenger side damage repaired.
Sunrise police said the damage was consistent with what would have been caused it the vehicle had hit someone. They added that the SUV had a newer headlight on the passenger side. They were able to match the casting numbers of a new headlight assembly to ones they have found at the February accident scene.
Two days later, police questioned Myrtha who said she was told of the damage by her husband who spotted it two days after the Super Bowl. The couple’s son Rodney admitted that he drove the vehicle the night before but had no idea how the damage had happened, according to his probable cause affidavit. He reportedly told his parents that he was at a friend’s house watching the game and it must have been hit while he was inside.
When police brought Rodney in for questioning, he reportedly admitted to the accident.
Fradin stated that “he was traveling down Sunset Strip between NW 64th Avenue and NW 19th Street when he struck what he thought was a vehicle on the side of the roadway. He also advised that as he was driving through that stretch of Sunset Strip he received a text message on his cell phone. As he was looking down at his phone, he felt his vehicle drift off of the roadway at which time he heard a ‘clack noise,” according to the report.
Fradin reportedly told the officers he didn’t stop because he knew he was driving on a suspended license and didn’t want to go to jail.