A Turlock man is facing a charge of attempted murder after intentionally running over a woman in a store parking lot because he said God told him to do it.
Jose Perez, 41, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bail.
The incident began around 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Walmart parking lot at 2111 Fulkerth Road.
The victim, a 54-year-old woman, was walking across the parking lot when a Dodge pickup accelerated and struck her.
The pickup then crashed into a building before the driver put it into reverse and fled the area, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.
The woman sustained serious injuries from the collision including head trauma and possible broken bones, Holeman said.
A witness to the attack followed the Dodge pickup out of the parking lot and onto the street. The witness called 911 and was providing officers with the suspect’s whereabouts.
The driver, later identified as Perez, started driving more erratically, running stop signs, and speeding.
Perez turned the Dodge onto a dirt road near Faith Home Road and W. Main Street. Due to the high speed, Perez lost control of the truck and crashed into a canal.
It was right around this time that officers arrived at the scene and saw Perez crawl out of the truck through the passenger window and try to run from the area. He was easily apprehended and taken into custody.
Perez later told investigators that he had been sitting in his truck when he heard the voice of God tell him to run over the woman because she had devils in her.