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Man accused of downtown Spokane hit-and-run crash claims he was drugged

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 3, 2018

Gabriel Hein appeared in court Monday in connection to a hit and run Thursday that left a pedestrian with two broken legs and a broken pelvis. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)
Gabriel Hein appeared in court Monday in connection to a hit and run Thursday that left a pedestrian with two broken legs and a broken pelvis. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

A man accused of a downtown hit-and-run crash early Thursday morning told police he believed he had been drugged.

Gabriel K. Hein, 28, said in his court appearance Monday that he didn’t know what happened that night.

“I can’t say I was fully responsive. There were other factors at play,” he said. “I believe that I may have been drugged that night.”

Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Price allowed Hein to remain out of a jail as the case unfolds. Hein does not have a criminal history.

Hein is accused of hitting a man at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and leaving the scene. Police observed surveillance footage from the area and found the car with extensive body damage and a hole in the windshield with blood inside.

The victim suffered a broken pelvis, two broken legs, a lacerated nose, a broken elbow and cuts on his knuckles, court documents stated.

Surveillance footage showed the car before the crash at 707 W. Second Ave. The car was speeding, court documents stated. The car failed to stop for flashing red lights at an intersection, and the tail end of the car nearly become airborne while going through the intersection. The car also nearly hit another car, according to documents.

Hein first told police that his car had not moved since last Monday. He then changed his statement to say he had gone to a friend’s house and had been drinking that night. He said he got into an argument with his girlfriend and punched the car window because of it, causing the damage.

Hein’s fingers were bandaged in court Monday, and court documents state they were consistent with a crash with a pedestrian that shattered the car’s windshield.

Court documents state he was writing with the injured hand, and that “the damage to the windshield was large and was consistent with a pedestrian strike and not someone punching a windshield with their fist,” according to court documents.

On Saturday, when an officer asked Hein to explain the surveillance footage, he refused to answer and was placed under arrest.

The county prosecutor asked Price on Monday to hold Hein on a $20,000 bond. The judge instead allowed Hein to remain out of custody. Price ordered Hein not to drive or to contact people who may have been involved with Hein that night.

“I do feel terrible about what happened,” Hein said.

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