Wheeling Homicide Suspect on Equestrian Dr Dragged Pedestrian with SUV; Recently Arrested on Sunset Dr and Pine Ave in Arlington Heights After Running from Unusual Crash on Arlington Heights Rd

Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, Wheeling homicide suspect
Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, Wheeling homicide suspect

2nd Time Suspect Ran from Crash in 17 Days

Wheeling Homicide investigation on Equestrian Drive after Hit-and-Run crash just east of Elmhurst Road.

Wheeling police investigators report that a male offender that struck, dragged and killed a father of three, intentionally drove into the pedestrian, dragging the victim until the SUV crashed into a home on the south side of Equestrian Drive just east of Elmhurst Road in Wheeling.

Police report they believe Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez was behind the wheel of a Toyota SUV at about 7:37 a.m. Wednesday when it struck Carlos Maciel Pulido on the 700 block of Equestrian Drive, then crashed through the front entryway of a home. Witnesses told police the driver fled after the crash. Zavala-Hernandez is described as Hispanic, 5’ 8” tall 200 LBS, with black hair and brown eyes. He was driving a recently stolen older model silver Toyota Highlander.




Police say the homicide victim, identified as Carlos Maciel Pulideo, and the homicide suspect, Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, had recently been involved in an ongoing fight.

Wheeling police said Zavala-Hernandez tried to confront Carlos Maciel Pulido in the parking lot of the victim’s apartment — less than a half-mile from the crash scene. According to police, Maciel-Pulido ran, but his shoes fell off and he continued running in his socks.

Zavala-Hernandez saw a silver Toyota Highlander as an opportunity for vehicle theft when a man was dropping off his children in the area. Zavala-Hernandez allegedly stole the vehicle to continue to chase Maciel-Pulido.

According to police, Maciel-Pulido continued to run southbound along Elmhurst Road past Equestrian Drive toward a bike trail that runs east and west behind the house on Equestrian Drive. Maciel-Pulido turned onto the trail, but Zavala-Hernandez allegedly continued to chase him, driving off the road in the SUV. Next, Maciel-Pulido ran back to Equestrian Drive, but Zavala-Hernandez allegedly ran him over with the Toyota Highlander, dragging him partially into the home on Equestrian Drive while crashing into the home. Zavala-Hernandez fled the crash scene, and a witness ran after him, but Zavala-Hernandez got away.




Homicide victim Carlos Maciel Pulido, age 32, had recently moved into a nearby apartment complex with the mother of his three children. The ongoing dispute is known to be connected to a domestic violence incident on May 17, 2020 when Zavala-Hernandez — of the block of 400 Pleasant Run Drive in Wheeling — allegedly assaulted his wife, cut off a Cook County-issued ankle monitor and fled the domestic violence incident. Police did not elaborate on any possible connection between Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, Jose’s wife, and Carlos Maciel Pulido.

Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez had been wearing an ankle monitor — the outcome of an arrest by Arlington Heights police after he ran from a crash involving his minivan with a tree and a sedan on Arlington Heights Road on May 3, 2020.

Zavala-Hernandez was wearing the ankle monitor after being released from custody on pending charges of …

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Aggravated DUI/No Driver’s License

Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License

Driver’s License Revoked or Suspended

Leaving the Scene of a Vehicle Damage Crash

Operating an Uninsured Vehicle

Obstructing Identification

DUI/Alcohol

Resisting a peace officer

Police from Arlington Heights responded to the crash about 4:33 p.m. Sunday May 3, 2020 to a report of a crash with a fleeing driver at Arlington Heights Road and Appletree Lane.

Police immediately arrested Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez at Sunset Drive and Pine Avenue in a neighborhood just north and east of the crash scene after Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez fled the scene of the crash that he allegedly caused.

Zavala-Hernandez was driving a Toyota Sienna minivan southbound on Arlington Heights Road when the minivan left the roadway and traveled up the parkway and hit a tree. The impact caused the minivan to spin around and bounce back into traffic facing the wrong way in the southbound lanes. The Toyota Sienna was then hit by a gray Chrysler sedan.

The Chrysler sedan was driven by a male adult. Initially, there were no injuries reported in the crash.

The right rear of the minivan was severely damage by the impact with the tree. As the minivan came to rest after bouncing back into traffic, the Chrysler sedan impacted the right front wheel and fender of the minivan. Zavala-Hernandez fled from his damaged and disabled vehicle, and was arrested minutes later.

Driver flees on foot after crashing minivan into a tree, bouncing the minivan back into traffic where it got hit by another vehicle on southbound Arlington Heights Road between Appletree Lane and Techny Road (17 days before homicide hit-and-run).

After the homicide, Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, 38, remains at large, Wheeling Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez. Police were canvassing the neighborhood Wednesday, May 20, 2020 seeking any clues and video evidence from residential security cameras and doorbell cameras.

Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, Wheeling homicide suspect
Jose Fermin Zavala-Hernandez, Wheeling homicide suspect

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