ACAMPO (CBS13) — A Lodi woman faces homicide charges after police said she ran over her estranged husband with his car and then was critically injured moments later in a separate crash.
“I just heard the boom and the crash and ran over there and found him lying on the ground. A bad sight. Bad sight,” said witness Kyle Hickman.
Police were dispatched to Pine and Kelly Streets in Lodi around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the woman was released from jail for violating a restraining order. Hickman was at work at Lodi Marine when he saw a man and woman fighting on the sidewalk nearby.
“The man was yelling ‘I love you, I love you, don’t leave. I’ll give you dope. I’ll give you dope,’” Hickman said.
He said during the scuffle, the man ended up on the ground.
“They were grabbing and pushing each other,” he said.
When the man got up and tried to run away, Hickman said he was surprised by the woman’s reaction.
“She followed behind him, got into the car and hopped the curb and ended up running him over into the fence,” he added.
Hickman said he and about 10 other people witnessed the incident and rushed over to the man in an attempt to help him.
“I was trying to shake his arm a little bit, keep breathing. Whatever I could do,” he said.
Police pronounced the man dead at the scene. About 15 minutes later, Lodi police spokesperson Michael Hitchcock said, “CHP received a call that a similar car was involved in a collision up in Acampo.”
Officers said the 40-year-old driver, Stephanie Gonzales, slammed into a Ford F-250 pickup. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the pickup suffered minor injuries and walked away from the crash.
“We know there was an active restraining order. It stemmed from a domestic violence incident that occurred earlier this year,” said Hitchcock.
On Thursday, new details emerged about the former couple’s tumultuous relationship and history with domestic violence. A family member told CBS13 the couple was married and separated; possibly even divorced, but continued some sort of relationship.
In February, Lodi Police said 59-year-old Eduardo Gonzales filed a restraining order against Stephanie Gonzales following a domestic battery incident.
This week, Stephanie Gonzales was arrested for violating that order and was released from jail just hours before she allegedly ran Eduardo over with his car. It was the third violation this year, police said.
“It’s sad no matter what neighborhood it happens in. Domestic violence is not okay,” said Lodi resident Madalynne Reese, who reported seeing the police activity in her neighborhood following Wednesday afternoon’s incident.
Gonzales’ family said Stephanie suffers from mental health issues and drug addiction. In 2016, she was arrested on arson charges after the couple’s home in Galt was destroyed by fire. She was released several months later when the cause was deemed accidental by fire investigators, her family said.
According to court records, she was arrested and sentenced multiple times in both San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties on charges of possession of a controlled substance, trespassing without consent and violating a restraining order. In San Joaquin County, records date back to 2002.
Witnesses were shocked to hear about Gonzales’ recent arrest and release from jail and were saddened by the death of her one-time husband.
“Even if they did love each other she went from nothing to killing him,” said Hickman. “This is what drugs do to you whether you love someone or not. Drugs make you go crazy.”
As of Thursday night, Gonzales was still listed in critical condition at the hospital. Once she’s released, police said she’ll be arrested on suspicion of homicide and assault with a deadly weapon.