NORTH HAVEN — A Wallingford man charged in connection with a fatal hit and run in March told police he thought he hit a deer the night of the incident.
Mark Rubino, 40, of 200 Cook Hill Rd., Apt. 13, Wallingford, was charged Friday with evasion of responsibility in operating a motor vehicle causing death, misconduct with a motor vehicle, no insurance and failure to drive in proper lane. Court documents list Rubino’s address in Wallingford. When he was arrested, North Haven police listed a Meriden address.
Rubino was released on $50,000 bond after his arrest and appeared in Meriden Superior on Thursday with his attorney Frank Riccio.
“(Rubino) is terribly upset about this incident and understands that this court process is going to be a difficult one both for him and the the family of the victim,” Riccio said Thursday.
Riccio said he had to review all the evidence before he could make any further comment.
On March 11 around 5:30 p.m., Maureen Munzer, 57, of North Haven was walking on Ridge Road with her two children, ages 15 and 17, and husband when she was struck by a red Ford Fusion, which drove off. Munzer was brought to Yale- New Haven Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
At 6 p.m., Hamden police received a 911 call from Rubino, who reported he struck a deer and was on the Hamden/North Haven line on Mount Carmel Avenue, according to Rubino’s arrest warrant. North Haven police met with Rubino, who said he was driving home when he hit a deer in the road with his red Ford Fusion. Officers saw the car had a shattered front windshield with a hole near the center.
“Rubino stated he stopped immediately and observed the deer stand up and run away,” the warrant said. Rubino gave a written, sworn statement saying he was “almost positive” about the truthfulness of the information.
Police seized the car and obtained a search warrant. Officers collected samples from the car, including hair, the warrant said. A broken section of a license plate frame was found at the scene of the crash. The license plate frame on Rubino’s car had a missing section.
A witness told police that at the time Munzer was struck she was at her home, about 170 feet from the scene. She heard a loud bang and ran to the end of her driveway and saw a woman lying in the road, the warrant said. Munzer’s husband told her a red vehicle hit is wife. The witness saw the red car stopped at a traffic light at the intersection with Dixwell Avenue, the warrant said. The witness got in her car to try and follow the red car but she could not catch up.
DNA from two different areas of the windshield of the Ford Fusion is 100 billion times more likely to occur if it originated from Munzer than an unknown person, according to a forensic report.
Rubino is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 13.