TUCSON, Ariz. — A couple who stopped to help a woman as she was being
beaten on a Tucson street were run over by the attacker, police said. Two people
died and another was hospitalized.
Patrick Balbastro, 32, and his girlfriend stopped their car early Wednesday in
a neighborhood to help Cindy Burnett, 46, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, a police
The fight escalated and the attacker got into Balbastro’s car and repeatedly
ran over the three people, Widmer said.
Balbastro was fatally injured. Burnett died at the scene.
Police said Balbastro’s 43-year-old girlfriend remained hospitalized with
critical injuries. Her name wasn’t released.
The attacker drove off and later abandoned Balbastro’s car after hitting a
Widmer said Friday that police still don’t know the identity of the suspect and
only have a description from a taxi driver.
The incident began when Burnett and the unidentified man were dropped off by a
cab and the man started beating Burnett, police said.
It remained unclear what prompted the assault and whether Burnett knew her
attacker, Widmer said.
Balbastro called 911 as he arrived then got out of his car to help Burnett. His
Witnesses made multiple calls to 911 regarding the assault.
Balbastro was an electrician at a mine.
“Patrick was a stand-up guy,” his sister, Lorraine Solorzano, told the
Arizona Daily Star. “He was a gentleman, and a loving
uncle to his nieces and nephews.”
Solorzano and her husband were with Balbastro, his girlfriend and other friends
on New Year’s Eve at a dance.
“My brother was so happy and had wonderful plans for 2014,” Solorzano said.
“He was making good money and planned to buy a house. He wanted to settle down,
get married and have children.”