Man accused of stealing hot sauce bottle and driving into someone while fleeing

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man accused of stealing a car was arrested Tuesday after allegedly running over the owner of a food truck who was confronting him about stealing a bottle of hot sauce, according to Austin police.

On Thursday, August 8, police were dispatched to the “Vegan Yacht” food truck on Manchaca Road in south Austin. The call said the owner of the food truck was hit by a car that then fled the scene.

The victim told police he saw a 2008 Toyota Highlander park next to the food truck and the driver exit then walk into a nearby store. He said the driver left the store a short time later, walk over to a table in front of the food truck, take a bottle of hot sauce then get pack into his vehicle. According to the victim, when he approached the car to confront the man about the bottle, the suspect accelerated forward striking him.

To avoid being completely run over, the victim said he had to jump onto the hood of the vehicle and roll off to the side. Both the victim and his wife who witnessed the incident, say the suspect drove away from the scene.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim sustained a sprained wrist as a result of being hit by the SUV. The follow-up investigation revealed the Toyota was reported stolen. The report on the theft named the suspect as 37-year-old Lucas Joaquin Ritter. Police say that on the day following the incident at the food truck, Ritter was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The victim’s wife who witnessed the incident at the food truck was shown a photo lineup including Ritter. According to police, she was able to positively identify Ritter as the man who drove into her husband while fleeing the scene.

Ritter is charged with failure to stop and render aid and faces a bond of $15,000.

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