Glendale police arrest driver in deadly March hit and run

Cleon Baker’s younger brother Kasin Baker, left, and his mother Zina Lain spoke to various media outlets Wednesday morning, April 25 at the Glendale Police Department main station, 6835 N. 57th Drive, to ask for help in finding the person or persons responsible for the hit-and-run crash between Cleon Baker riding a bicyle and a 1999-2000 Ford Econovan, Thursday evening, March 29. “I don’t sleep; I don’t rest,” Ms. Lain said. [Bette Sharpe/Special to Independent Newsmedia]

A man was arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run collision of a bicyclist earlier this year.

Glendale police report Margarito Valencia Rodriguez, 39, was the driver involved in the collision March 29 in the 4800 block of West Camelback Road.

Police said the van he was driving struck Cleon Baker, 32, who was riding a bicycle on the roadway.

A Glendale detective testified in front of a grand jury Tuesday on the case.

“We thank the public for their assistance in this case,” Glendale police stated in a release. “Without them and the anonymous tips through our relationship with Silent Witness we may not have been able to make the arrest and get closure for the family.”

Glendale police initially responded for an accident between a vehicle and a bicyclist. Officers arrived and found a man that was previously riding a bicycle in critical condition. He was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The vehicle that was involved fled the scene.

Police identified the van involved in the collision and hosted a media conference with Mr. Baker’s family April 25.

However, Mr. Baker died from his injuries the morning of April 30.

Through help from the public, police identified Mr. Rodriguez as the driver and developed probable cause for his arrest in October on one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing death, along with misdemeanor counts of providing a false name and driving on a suspended license.

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