By Peter D'Oench

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) —- Hialeah Police have arrested a 23-year-old mother in the hit-and-run death Tuesday of a popular 79-year-old man who was a fixture on East 4th Avenue in Hialeah.

Police say 23-year-old Maydelis Pulido has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash with a death.

Detectives say surveillance tape captured the stolen red 2007 Toyota Corolla that she was driving on Tuesday. They say Pulido was driving southbound on East 4th Ave. approaching 17th St. when she made a left turn and struck Orlando Quiala.

They say Pulido fled as Quiala lay on the street. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital but did not survive.

Police commended the work of detectives who they said worked diligently day and night to solve this crime.

Bond for Pulido was set at $10,000. As Pulido left the TGK Correctional Center Thursday, she darted away from CBS4 News cameras without saying anything, got into a waiting car and drove away.

Records show she’s been arrested once before for petit theft. She has numerous pictures of herself posted on Facebook.

Friends of Quiala told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that even though Quiala lived on Miami Beach, he would often take a bus to Hialeah to hang out with friends in the area of East 4th Ave. and 17th St.

Friends including Alain Crespo, the owner of Ideal Hardware and Lumber on East 4th Ave., said he was relieved that an arrest had been made so quickly.

“I feel comfortable now because I was worried,” he said. “I didn’t want the death to go down with nobody being arrested. It’s sad. He was a great person. I have known almost all my life since I was a kid. He always gave a helping hand. He was a great person. He would often come to hang out in my store. Everybody looked at him.”

“It’s horrible,” he said. “If you hit someone, no matter what the consequences. You have got to stop.”

Nearby at a barber shop, Sergio Perez said Quiala would often stop at the shop to get a haircut.

“He was a hard-working man,” he said. “He was a favorite at my store. He was a very nice gentleman. I’m glad they made an arrest because you have to be held responsible. You should know that when you hit someone, you have to stop. I don’t know. Maybe this young woman had nerves. But you have to stop and you have to come back. I don’t care who or what it is, whether it is a dog or a cat or most important a human being. You can’t do that. You can’t leave.”

Police said Pulido lives in a home not far from the crash.

D’Oench stopped there as well and knocked on the door but those inside the house did not want to say anything.

Peter D'Oench


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