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Witness Confronts Driver Involved in Hit-and-Run Incident

2 years 10 months 3 days ago Thursday, March 22 2018 Mar 22, 2018 March 22, 2018 7:08 PM March 22, 2018 in News

MCALLEN – A man accused of causing a crash and fleeing the scene didn't expect to be caught in a headlock.

The mixed martial arts fighter who stopped the suspect considers himself lucky he didn't get hurt.

It started with a crash Tuesday morning just before lunch. Matthew Lopez was on his way to eat.

"Light turns green. Next thing you know the vehicle just rams into the guy," said Lopez, who witnessed the crash at the intersection of Dove Avenue and 10th Street in McAllen.

He said both parties greeted each other. Then the calm situation led to a verbal argument. Then came the sirens.

"He took off. I wasn't planning on chasing him. It was just the reaction to my body," said Lopez.

The MMA fighter said he chased Martin Madrujano for several seconds until the suspect tripped near an ATM.

Lopez seized the moment to put Madrujano in a wrestling hold.

Twenty-three-year-old Madrujano was later arrested when police arrived for fleeing the scene and possessing marijuana.

If you find yourself in such a situation, police recommend caution.

"You just never know what that individual is doing or had been doing," said Sgt. Bernie Garza, of Weslaco Police Department.

"(You don’t know) if they're even armed with some kind of weapon. It might become a physical confrontation where you might become a victim at that point," said Garza.

Lopez admits he thinks he was just in the moment.

"Knowing I had a ground game of wrestling just took over me," he said. "I think I can get this guy."

He's glad he could help and glad he came out OK.

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