DUI suspect accused of hitting family had been deported 15 times

Laura Christensen
May 13, 2017

A man who has been deported to Mexico 15 times pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony drunk driving in a crash that fractured the skull of a 6-year-old boy. He is charged with hit-and-run causing permanent injury, DUI causing great bodily injury and driving without a license.

ICE told KGTV that Banda-Acosta "has been repatriated to Mexico at least 15 times since 2002, most recently in January 2017".

Benjamin Lake said knowing Banda-Acosta has been deported 15 times has changed his opinion about immigration law enforcement.

The boy's parents suffered minor injuries.

Lennox is now hospitalized with severe injuries, including brain trauma.

The speeding Chevrolet Silverado hit the driver and passenger's side where the boy, Lennox Lake, was sitting in his vehicle seat, said his grandmother, Cheryl Lake. A booking photo for Banda-Acosta is not available.

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Doctors say Lennox has a long way to go, but they are "cautiously optimistic" he will make a full recovery. "He asked 'why am I so jacked up?' I told him he's going to get better and we're going to go home soon".

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

According to the Border Patrol, Banda-Acosta was arrested after agents who came across the crash found him and a passenger in a damaged Chevrolet pick-up truck that matched the description of the vehicle involved.

"There are not enough words to describe the huge impact his actions have had", said Cheryl of Banda-Acosta. "But I feel like the ones with a criminal record, who have done bad things and have previously been deported, they shouldn't be finding ways back into the country", said Lake, adding that not much can be done for the family to seek "re-compensation" from the suspect.

The crime has already taken on political significance in the wider debate over illegal aliens in California.

After Border Patrol agents found the damaged vehicle, San Diego police arrested Banda-Acosta who was in the USA illegally again, despite his 15 prior deportations. While President Trump has yet to build the border wall or hire more agents, the administration's commitment to enforcing the law has changed the reality along the border.

Other reports by My Hot News

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