Updated: Monday, 03 Oct 2011, 10:18 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 03 Oct 2011, 9:51 PM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - Santa Fe Police said a man, who accidentally struck a little girl in a grocery store parking lot, was beaten by her family members.
Derrick Manuel, 49, said he didn't see the girl run in front of his truck in the parking lot of Smith's on Cerrillos Road. When he got out of his pickup to check if she was okay, Manuel said three men jumped him.
"At one point, I was going to pass out," said Manuel. "They were hitting my face, they were hitting me, hitting me."
Both Manuel and the girl, 5-year-old Neveah Gutierrez, were taken to the hospital and released. They are expected to recover.
Manuel wasn't cited for the accident because the Santa Fe Police Department said it's evident the girl ran in front of Manuel's truck. Lt. Louis Carlos said the three family members, who are accused of beating Manuel, also weren't arrested.
"Because we didn't witness the fight or the punching, it falls in the realm of a misdemeanor," said Carlos.
The cases were turned over to the Santa Fe County District Attorney's Office, said Carlos. He said the D.A. will decide if the men will face misdemeanor battery charges.
The girl's mother said Manuel got off too easy.
"He was in the wrong by running the stop sign and speeding when there's families, there's kids, there are newborns," said Patrece Visarraga.
Manuel also said the men who beat him should have been arrested.
"There's no way they can keep beating someone like that," said Manuel. "I'm upset at the parents for not controlling their child."