Proposal rejected, man tries to run over woman

PICO RIVERA, Calif. A marriage proposal turned violent when a woman turned her boyfriend down.

A Whittier man had it all planned out.

He painted the words, "Will you marry me?" on his car, hoping, of course, his girlfriend would say yes.

But when she didn't, deputies say he tried to run her down with the very car he used to propose. It all happened on the 9300 block of Slauson Avenue in Pico Rivera.

Witnesses say the suspect was driving so fast, he hit a curb and vaulted into a parking lot. The suspect is behind bars and his girlfriend is in a women's shelter with a protective order.

He wanted a commitment from his longtime girlfriend. But his marriage proposal exposed a dark side of his passion.

Witnesses saw him pursuing the woman who was supposedly the love of his life.

"He hit the curb and he came up the grass hill and the car went flying, maybe about 8 to 10 feet high," said Gabriel Gabriel, who witnessed the incident.

"When the car was driving that way I could see writing on the car. It said something like 'will you marry me' or something like that," said witness Vicki Mejia.

Now Mario Francisco Hernandez, 22, is in jail facing a felony charge.

"The proposal was turned down. It appears that the male became really upset and tried to run over the female with the vehicle," said L.A. County Sheriff's Detective Gabriel Ramirez.

"When she was running, she was running in a way, like really scared," said Mejia.

Sheriff's detectives say Hernandez blew out two tires chasing her and kept on going, barely missing a person in the parking lot at Passons and Slauson.

"The car sprinted up. Looked like it was flying. I thought it was something out of a movie, to be honest with you, and then I was like, this is not a movie," said Mejia.

Friends say it had long been a stormy relationship. The couple had one chlld when she 15 years old, another two years later. Low income. He was briefly in the military. They lived with his family.

"My first reaction was 'He's on drugs. He's either drunk or he's on drugs," said Mejia.

But investigators say Hernandez was not intoxicated with anything but raw emotion.

"At this time I don't have any information with regards to prior history of domestic violence or violence at all," said Ramirez.

Hernandez faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. His arraignment is set for Monday.

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