MCSO: Man arrested in fatal East Valley hit-and-run

defendant Derek Tinsley faces felony charge

According to the azfamily/3 video report (sigh, that link is dead; the newpaper story is below) witnesses saw a company pickup vehicle being driven erratically along Apache Trail near 80th St in Mesa, swerving across 3 lanes of traffic, killing a bicyclist riding at the side of the road. Witnesses provided a license plate number for the fleeing vehicle, and police have arrested Derek Tinsley.

Incident: 7/11/2014 ~ 5pm. Apache Trail about 80th St, Mesa.

Victim: “Mikey” (full name not released; court documents refer to a Mr. Pendel), described as a veteran, and homeless man in his 60s (asdm has the victim as 58 y.o.).

Suspect/driver: Derek Tinsley, 28 y.o. male. vehicle is a “company”   truck (it’s a Chevrolet Pickup).


This is adot incident=2877108 Driver was faulted for unsafe lane change; and the bicyclist was NO_IMPROPER. Amphetamine use was noted in bicyclist.

Criminal Case

CR 2014-133386 case minutes.  The defendant has plead not guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court to a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal he caused 28-661B, a class 2 felony. Given the apparent recklessness, it’s not clear why a homicide charge was not also sought.

Tinsley plead to a reduced charge (661C, which is hit-and-run involving NON-serious injury. Why in the world was it reduced? The victim is DEAD not non-seriously injured.) in April 2015 and received 3 years probation. Seems like a sweetheart deal.

The hit-and-run was somehow reduced to a Class 5 felony (a fatal hit-and-run caused by defendant is in reality a class 2); see 4/12/2015 sentencing minute; and yielded only 3 years probation and no incarceration. Then, there was some sort of probation violation, see “The Defendant has previously entered a denial to the alleged violation of probation and now advises the Court that he/she wishes to enter an admission. The Defendant admits violation of probation for condition 1” which apparently is causing a 60-day jail sentence (big whoop).

The traffic ticket that caused the parole violation was he was driving,  TR-2015007463 looks like Glendale PD, filed on 4/10/2015 DRIVE WITH LICENSE SUSPENDED / REVOKED / CANCELLED.

Authorities have arrested a 28-year-old man in connection with a fatal hit-and-run in the far East Valley on Friday evening.

A witness observed the vehicle swerve from the middle lane to hit a man riding a bicycle on the side of the road, according to Officer Chris Hegstrom, a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The witness was able gave the vehicle’s license plate number to deputies, Hegstrom said, adding that the information led deputies to Derek Tinsley, 28.

Tinsley was taken into custody and could face felony charges for the hit-and-run as well as leaving the scene of a fatal accident, according to Hegstrom.

Tom Seip, a man who lives in the area, said he was a close friend of the victim for around 20 years, calling him, “Mikey.” Seip said he used to give Mikey and his dog, Buddy, water and hot dogs from his auto shop.

Seip also said he helped Mikey build the very bike he was riding when he was hit by the passing motorist.

“I saw his red wheels and said, ‘Oh, that’s Mikey,'” Seip recalled.

Seip described Mikey as around 60 years old and homeless, saying he had slept on his driveway just three days ago. Seip said Buddy ran away recently and that Mikey spent most of his time looking for the dog.

“He’d been bouncing from driveway to driveway just for some place to sleep,” Seip said. “He was the nicest guy you’d ever meet.” — azcentral