NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – For the first time, we’re hearing from 22-year-old Samantha Maureen Henry. She’s the New Port Richey woman who owns the Ford Expedition that slammed into 14-year old Johnny Walsh Jr.
Initially, she told investigators that someone had stolen her SUV and she had no idea where it was. Turns out, authorities tell us, she was lying.
On Thursday, deputies showed up at the Riverside Inn in New Port Richey where she works as a housekeeper, questioned her and arrested her. Henry now faces a charge of filing a false police report.
Pasco deputies were wearing body cameras which recorded portions of the questioning and her eventual arrest.
A deputy pictured in the video tells Henry, “my number one goal, the people that are victimized, I want to help them.”
Henry cries during her response. “I was going to tell the truth,” said Henry. “I was just so scared.”
Security camera video shows the accident, where Henry’s Expedition slammed into a truck and then into Johnny Walsh Jr., 14, as he was riding his bike. A mosquito control worker spotted the SUV in a field and called the Florida Highway Patrol on Wednesday.
A few hours later, the brother of Johnny Walsh Jr. just happened to be at a McDonald’s, not far from his home and the scene of the accident, when he heard a man talking about the hit-and-run on his cell phone.
“He was talking on the phone and I heard him talking about it. He said that, he was like, ‘yeah, did you hear about the hit-and-run’ and then I don’t know what the other person said, and then he said, ‘yeah, I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t really mean to do it. I was just really messed up. I was in a bad time,'” said Damari Stacey, 16. Stacey said he wanted to punch the man, but called 911 instead.
Florida Highway Patrol Troopers are handling the accident portion of the investigation and are still looking for Kevin Wilson, another person of interest in this case.
Pasco deputies questioned Henry several times after the accident and her story kept changing. She told deputies Wilson was the one who took her SUV and called her after the accident.
“He called me, crying, screaming and yelling saying ‘I think I hit a kid. I’m not sure, I don’t know what’s going on,'” Henry told deputies. “He said ‘I dipped, I ran.’ I said ‘where’s my car?’ He said ‘it’s gone, don’t worry about it.'”
The deputy then asked Henry when she reported her SUV stolen.
“I told him [Wilson] I was going to report it stolen, and he told me if I report it stolen right now, he would beat my a–, kill me and everybody else,” said Henry. “He’s a tiny dude, but I’ve seen him hit females before.”
Deputies eventually arrest Henry and put her in handcuffs.
The arrest affidavit outlines that Henry did in fact know the two men who took her truck, even though she told deputies she had no idea who had it.
She posted bond and walked out of the Land O’ Lakes Jail shortly after midnight Friday morning. She had nothing to say as she walked to an awaiting car.
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