Vet run down by domestic violence suspect speaks out from hospit - Tucson News Now

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Vet run down by domestic violence suspect speaks out from hospital

Steven Richardson was left with a skull fracture. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Steven Richardson was left with a skull fracture. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Booking photo of Cody Gibson at the Fourth Avenue Jail. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Cody Gibson at the Fourth Avenue Jail. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
When Steven Richardson tried to help a woman who was being attacked, the suspect ran him down and sped away. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) When Steven Richardson tried to help a woman who was being attacked, the suspect ran him down and sped away. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Cody Gibson (Source: Chandler Police Dept.) Cody Gibson (Source: Chandler Police Dept.)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Chandler Police Department has named a suspect in an aggravated assault and hit-and-run incident at a fast-food restaurant. 

"He committed a very serious felony," Det. Seth Tyler said. "He caused serious life-threatening injuries to someone who was trying to help."

Police on Monday released a photo of Cody Gibson, 18. They believe he is the man who ran down Steven Richardson in the parking lot of the Jack in the Box near Riggs and McQueen roads at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

[RELATED: Chandler PD seeks more witnesses to Valley vet run over]

According to investigators, Richardson, a veteran who served two tours in Iraq, and his friend were trying to help a woman who was being abused in what appeared to be a domestic violence situation.

"It really upsets me 'cause that's not how we treat our ladies," Richardson said from his hospital bed. "This is not how we act as a society. This is not how we act as a man."

Witnesses described the attack on the woman as "very violent," and while several told Gibson to stop, Richardson was the only one who got physically involved.

Richardson tried to stop the suspect, now identified as Gibson, from leaving the scene.

As Gibson was trying to escape with the woman out of the parking lot, he hit Richardson at full speed. Witnesses say it was intentional.

"The guy came back towards him, and Steve didn't move," Jeromy Cullen, Richardson's friend who was with him that night, said. 

That's when Cullen says Gibson gunned it straight for Richardson. 

"He went from barely a crawl to full acceleration. ... He [Richardson] went over the hood and into the windshield."

Richardson, who is suffering from short-term memory loss, does remember the moment the vehicle threw him on the windshield. 

"It was painful," he said. A cracked skull and severe concussion are among his most serious injuries. 

"I've got scars and sutures in my skull," he said. "I got blood coming out of my eardrum."

Friends said Richardson's condition has improved, but he likely will remain in the hospital for at least a few more days.

Police put out a call for witnesses to come forward on Friday. They released Gibson's name and photo Monday afternoon.

Detectives said Monday that they found Gibson's vehicle abandoned on the Gila River Indian Community shortly after Richardson was hit. Investigators suspect Gibson is hiding in the community and are working with the Gila River Police Department to find him. "We believe that Mr. Gibson has a number of contacts on the reservation that might be helping him," Det. Seth Tyler said. "He needs to turn himself in or someone that knows him needs to identify where he's at."

[RELATED: Man trying to help woman in parking lot finds himself victim of hit-and-run]

Gibson is a Native American male around 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. Police provided no other description or information.

If you know where Gibson might be, please contact the Chandler Police Department at 480-782-4130. (Click or tap the phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.) Refer to police report #2016-039777.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help Richardson's family. As of 9 p.m. Monday, more than 300 people had donated more than $14,000.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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