A Fairfax woman has been charged in a hit-and-run accident on Columbia Pike in Arlington that left a man in critical condition.
Alexandra Mendez, 39, was denied bond and is being held in the Arlington County Detention Center, according to Arlington County police. Police said Mendez drove the wrong way into a one-way entrance of a parking lot, clipped a vehicle while driving in reverse and struck two pedestrians who apparently tried to stop her from driving away.
Sanaullah Shaikh, 46, identified his brother Noormustafa Shaikh, 40, as one of the two people who were struck. Noormustafa Shaikh, who owns MK Auto Sales and Service in Arlington, was in critical but stable condition at George Washington University Hospital, according to his brother.
Noormustafa Shaikh suffered injuries to his ribs and spinal cord, according to his brother, who said doctors told the family that the injuries are life-threatening.
“Everyone’s really sad,” Sanaullah Shaikh said. “His wife — she cannot even handle herself. She’s been up all night.”
Noormustafa Shaikh is married with three children, ages 3, 7 and 10, his brother said. His wife works part time for Stafford County Public Schools.
After emigrating from Pakistan about four years ago, Noormustafa Shaikh spent much of his time coming up with the money to start his small business selling cars, his brother said, and only acquired the money to start MK Auto Sales and Service about a month ago.
“He was trying to start his life,” Sanaullah Shaikh said. “It’s so sad that this happened because he just started a month ago with this business, not even.”
Mendez was taken into custody at 6 a.m. Wednesday, and the vehicle was recovered outside her home, authorities said.
She has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license and other offenses.
Police said the incident occurred just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, when Mendez turned her Toyota Highlander into a parking lot in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Dustin Sternbeck, an Arlington police spokesman, said the woman drove the wrong way into a one-way entrance to the parking lot and then put her vehicle in reverse to back out.
In doing so, she clipped another vehicle. She appeared to be trying to drive away, prompting those in nearby businesses to try to intervene, police said.
According to police, a man tried to shut a gate to prevent the woman from leaving, but she hit it, knocking him to the ground. Another man, Sternbeck said, then stood in front of her vehicle to try to stop her. She sped off, running over the man who had been knocked to the ground and the foot of the man standing in front of her car.
Sternbeck said observers recorded cellphone videos of the incident.
Julie Zauzmer and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.