March 8, 2002
Woman left man trapped for days in her windshield after hit and run
Victim got apologies but no help as he bled to death, court toldNational Post, with files from The Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Tex. - A Texas nurse's aide allowed a man trapped in the windshield of her car to bleed to death in her garage over two or three days, prosecutors said.
Arlington Morning News
Chante Mallard is a nurse's aide.
Then, Chante Mallard called her friends and had them dump the body of Gregory Biggs, a 37-year-old homeless man, in a nearby park.
"I'm going to have to come up with a new word. Indifferent isn't enough. Cruel isn't enough to say," Richard Alpert, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Heartless? Inhumane? Maybe we've just redefined inhumanity here."
On Wednesday, police arrested Ms. Mallard, 25, on a murder warrant in Mr. Biggs' October death.
"If he had gotten medical attention, he probably would have survived," said Sergeant John Fahrenthold, a police traffic investigator.
When the body was found in Cobb Park in southeast Fort Worth, evidence pointed to a hit-and-run, investigators said.
But they were unable to develop any leads in the case until Ms. Mallard herself unwittingly provided the key to the mystery. When asked at a party why she was no longer driving her car, she told a friend "bits and pieces" about the accident. Last month, the friend went to police and they obtained a search warrant.
Inside her garage they discovered her damaged 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier still spattered inside and out with blood, hair and other trace evidence from Mr. Biggs.
The car's seats had been removed and were found in the backyard. An attempt had been made to burn one of them to destroy the evidence.
Taken to the police station for questioning, Ms. Mallard at last explained what had happened.
The woman told police she had been drinking and using Ecstasy the night she hit Mr. Biggs, sending him headfirst through her windshield and breaking his legs. Then, she panicked and drove the few kilometres to her home, where she parked her car in the garage.
Mr. Biggs begged her to help him, she told the police, but she lowered the garage door and ignored his pleas. She returned several times over the next few days to apologize to him, but otherwise did nothing to help as he went into shock and slowly bled to death.
After the man died, Ms. Mallard enlisted several of her friends to help remove his body. They put Mr. Biggs in the trunk of another vehicle and drove to the park, where he was found on Oct. 27.
"This goes so far beyond failure to stop and render aid because she did more than not render aid," Mr. Alpert said. "She made it impossible for anyone else to do so."
Ms. Mallard's lawyer, Mike Heiskell, said the accusation against her was unwarranted.
"I think this is overreaching on the part of the prosecution and the police and, in the end, I believe the law will shake out that this was simply a case of failure to stop and render aid," he said.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office told police Mr. Biggs suffered no internal injuries and apparently died from loss of blood and shock. Medical examiner's records listed his address as a homeless shelter in Fort Worth.
More arrests are expected.
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