Man charged in Hopkins hit-and-run that left pedestrian critically injured

A Hopkins man has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian with serious injuries, court records show.

A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court on Friday states that 25-year-old Joshua Nikolai Nichols was charged with felony criminal vehicular operation.

According to the complaint, on April 14 Hopkins police officers responded to a report of an injured person at 9:20 p.m. at Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street South. Officers found the male victim lying on the side of the road; he was not moving and appeared to have blood in and around his mouth, and he appeared to have a seizure at the scene.

The victim was in critical condition when he was first brought to the hospital. His injuries included a laceration on the right side of the head, a broken bone in his right ear, a bruised lung and a small fracture in his lower spine. According to the complaint, the victim has been unable to communicate since the crash.

Pedestrian seriously hurt in Hopkins hit-and-run

Upon investigation, officers were able to find silver paint chips and clear plastic pieces in the area. They were also able to review surveillance footage and pinpoint the time of the accident based on the timing of the 911 call, according to the complaint. Upon reviewing surveillance footage, they saw a silver vehicle with damage to the front end on the passenger side.

After canvassing the area for a similar vehicle, officers found a Honda Ridgeline on the 700 block of Ninth Avenue South on Thursday that was registered to Nichols. It had damage consistent with the surveillance footage and evidence recovered at the crime scene.

According to the complaint, officers spoke with Nichols's grandmother, who lived at the house where the Ridgeline was found. She said the vehicle belonged to Nichols and that he had told her his car was damaged in a hit-and-run.

Nichols allegedly posted on Facebook the day after the hit-and-run asking for recommendations on an auto body mechanic. Officers also obtained surveillance footage from a liquor store that shows Nichols getting out of the Ridgeline and assessing the damage shortly after the hit-and-run.

Nichols was in custody as of Friday. He was being held on a $50,000 bond.