‘Baby daddy’ issues led to woman being run down, police say
A feud between two women over a man in Fresno appears to have boiled over into a vicious hit-and-run crash, according to a Fresno police report.
Monique Cooper, 23, is allegedly seen on video, taken on a surveillance camera, using her car to run down a woman in a parking lot.
She’s charged with attempted murder, felony assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed knife.
She had been charged with felony assault and possession of a concealed knife. After investigators and prosecutors saw the video footage, however, they added the more serious charge of attempted murder.
The May 3 video allegedly shows Cooper’s Chevrolet Impala slowly move toward Latoya Crama, 28, as she walks through the parking lot of Zacks Market on California Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fresno.
Cooper then allegedly accelerates, striking Crama, who lands on the hood and is carried for several feet before she tumbles onto the street.
FEUD REACHES HEAD
According to a Fresno police report, a witness told police the feud started over “baby daddy issues” between Crama and Cooper’s sister.
Crama’s ex-boyfriend, with whom she has a child, is dating Cooper’s sister. As a result, Crama held resentment toward both Cooper and her sister, Cooper told police.
The morning of the incident, Crama confronted Cooper because she waved to her daughter while she was dropping her off for school.
The confrontation escalated when Crama approached Cooper in the parking lot. Cooper told police Crama had spit at her and hit her car.
Cooper told police she was so enraged over the spitting incident she “lost it” and drove her Chevrolet Impala into Crama.
She fled after the crash and was arrested later that day. Cooper told police she was so upset she “blacked out” and didn’t mean to hit Crama with her car.
“...umm no, I didn’t want to hit her with my car, but I did...” she said, according to the police report.
Crama suffered two broken vertebrae in her neck, a broken toe and abrasions.
Prosecutor Andrew Janz urged the judge to increase Cooper’s bail Wednesday, calling the incident “one of the most egregious examples (of hit and run) I have ever seen.”
Janz asked Judge James Kelley to increase Cooper’s bail because of the attempted murder charge.
To help make his case, Janz showed Kelley, and the rest of the courtroom, the short video. Several people watching the video said “ooh” at the point of impact.
Cooper cried as she watched the video. Kelley ordered she be taken into custody and he agreed to boost her bail to $666,000.
“Oh my god,” Cooper said, as a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy handcuffed her. Her mother tried to give her a hug but the deputy didn’t allow it.
Cooper’s attorney Gerald Schwab disagreed with the added felony charge, saying it’s difficult to tell how fast the car was moving. Schwab also argued Crama did not suffer major or permanent injuries.
“The video looks worse than it really was,” Schwab said “It’s just grandstanding by the DA.”
Cooper’s next court appearance is Oct. 16.