Police: Hit-And-Run Suspect Ran Because He Thought He Killed Victim


Fayetteville police have caught up to the man suspected of striking a homeless man with his car before driving off earlier this week. The victim remains in serious condition in a Missouri hospital.

Maurice Deshaun Evans, 22, was arrested Wednesday (July 3) on suspicion of leaving the scene of an injury accident, driving with a suspended license and not having insurance. He was booked Wednesday night into the Washington County Detention Center, where he awaits a bond hearing.

The arrest comes after a two-day search by the Fayetteville Police Department for the suspect who allegedly struck a homeless man Monday afternoon on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Fayetteville police early Tuesday identified the victim as Gary Todd O’Neil, 52. He is at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., with brain and spinal injuries, according to police. He had a large wound on the back of his head after the alleged hit-and-run collision.

O’Neil may be from Oklahoma, but has spent time in Missouri and Arkansas, Sgt. Craig Stout said. Authorities believe the man is homeless.

Police received a tip Tuesday about a vehicle matching the description the department had sent out on the car. Officers responded to the location on West End Avenue and noticed damage to the front of the car, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Detention Center. The Ford Taurus was registered to Maurice Evans.

Evans consented a search of his vehicle and gave the police an alibi for the time of the hit-and-run. Detectives were able to disprove the alibi and arrested Evans a day later, the preliminary report states.

“Evans said he didn’t stop because he knew he would go to jail for killing a man,” the reporting officer states.

Emergency crews responded at about 2:30 p.m. Monday (July 1) to Martin Luther King Boulevard, near Sang Avenue, in Fayetteville and transported one man to the hospital with a large wound on the back of his head, police said.

O’Neil was lying in the street when emergency crews arrived.

The department’s criminal investigation unit canvassed area neighborhoods looking for the driver of the car who hit the man

Little physical evidence was left at the site of the accident from the car, making it difficult for investigators to track down the suspect.

“After the accident happened we called out our accident reconstructionists and our criminal investigation unit,” Stout said. “We started doing a canvass of surrounding neighborhoods looking for the vehicle, checking a lot of the businesses that are around.”

Evans Hit And Run Mugshot.jpg