On Sunday, police in Omaha arrested Pedro Diego-Antonio, 31, after he reportedly hit a man crossing the street at the intersection of 38th and Dodge Streets. The Guatemalan national fled the scene, but was taken into custody, only a few blocks from the fatal crash.
As a result of the impact, the victim, 64-year-old Dr. Edward Horowitz, was thrown nearly 20 feet, into the windshield of a U-Haul truck stopped at the red light. Less than an hour later, he died at a local hospital from his massive injuries.
Diego-Antonio, who had a .24 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) (more than three times the legal limit), at the time of the accident, has been charged with vehicular homicide, felony DUI causing serious bodily injury or death and felony leaving the scene of an accident. He is currently being held at the Douglas County Corrections Center on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.
Perhaps, the most maddening fact about this case, is that Diego-Antonio was stopped and cited only 11 days before the fatal DUI, for driving on a suspended license. In fact, it was the second time this year that the illegal alien was ticketed for driving without a license, after being convicted of a 2011 DUI.
Of course, common sense dictates that he should have been deported after the first DUI. However, in the age of President Obama's new ICE guidelines and so-called 'prosecutorial discretion,' it now takes much more than a measly DUI conviction to deport those who have no legal right to be here (even though, officially, it is enough).
In 2012, Obama ordered ICE agents to stop detaining or trying to deport illegal aliens charged with misdemeanor crimes.
Among the conditions under which ICE agents are now permitted to issue a, is if "the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions."
The memo was signed by former ICE director John Morton, and as is custom with this administration, was quietly released on a Friday evening.
Illegal aliens are now only eligible for deportation proceedings under the following conditions:
-the alien has previously been convicted of or charged with a felony;
-the alien has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions;
-the alien has a prior misdemeanor conviction or has been charged with a misdemeanor offense that involves —
-violence, threats, or assault;
-sexual abuse or exploitation;
-driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
-unlawful flight from the scene of an accident;
-unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon;
-the distribution or trafficking of a controlled substance, or
-other significant threat to public safety;
-the alien has been convicted of unlawful entry or has illegally reentered the U.S. after a previous removal or return;
-the alien has an outstanding order of removal;
-the alien has been found by an immigration officer or an immigration judge to have knowingly committed fraud;
-the alien otherwise poses a significant risk to national security, border security, or public safety.
In fact, ICE agents are no longer allowed to take illegal aliens into custody based only on their illegal status in this country, an additional crime must first be committed.
Since Diego-Antonio's prior DUI was apparently discounted, it would have taken one more citation for driving without a license for him to have even received a deportation hearing.
As for the victim, Creighton University, where he worked, released the following statement:
Creighton University School of Medicine mourns the unexpected loss of Edward Horowitz, M.D., an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases who also held a secondary appointment in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology.
Horowitz was a passionate educator and, as such, has touched the lives of countless medical students during his tenure at Creighton University. His loss weighs heavy on the hearts of faculty, staff and students within the medical school and across the campus. As a community, we grieve with his family and friends and we offer our heartfelt support for his closest colleagues and collaborators.
Horowitz, born in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1950, started a nearly four decades-long career at Creighton University as a medical student. He graduated from the School of Medicine in 1978 before completing an internship, residency, chief residency and a fellowship in infectious diseases – all at Creighton University Affiliated Hospitals.
Once named a 'Best Doctor in America,' Horowitz practiced at the VA Medical Center as well as the Creighton Travel Clinic at Alegent Creighton Clinic in Dundee. He also provided care to the community as a staff physician at the Omaha Indian-Chicano Health Center in the 1980s, La Plaza Health Center in the 1990s and at the Magis Clinic at Sienna Francis House since 2001."
Diego-Antonio's next court appearance is scheduled for July 28.