Medal Of Honor Recipient Turns Himself In For Hit-And-Run Charge

Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter was decorated “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty,” when he threw himself on a grenade in 2010 to save a fellow marine, but he now faces a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge in South Carolina.

Retired Marine Corporal Kyle Carpenter was driving near the fitness center at the University of South Carolina, where he is now a student, when police reports say he struck a pedestrian at 8:30 p.m. on December 8. According to ABC News, surveillance tapes recorded the hit-and-run and show Carpenter’s vehicle strike a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Carpenter’s vehicle is then seen to pull over with its hazard lights on, wait, and then leave the scene.

Carpenter later turned himself in, and he now faces a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge.

kyle carpenter charged hit-and-run
Carpenter turned himself in for the hit-and-run charge when he learned that the pedestrian had been injured. [Associated Press]

According to a statement made to Fox News by Carpenter’s attorney Butch Bowers, the retired Marine believed the pedestrian was uninjured. As the surveillance tape shows, Bowers told Fox News that Carpenter pulled over and turned on his hazard lights after striking the pedestrian.

Although Carpenter did not get out of his vehicle, he witnessed the pedestrian get up and walk across the street and believed the man to be unharmed.

The pedestrian, Michael Haddad, entered the nearby University of South Carolina fitness center after Carpenter drove away, and police were called at that time. According to local police, Haddad was treated at the scene for scrapes and some type of leg injury, although he refused further treatment and was not taken to a hospital.

As Carpenter left the scene before the police arrived, he now faces a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge.

medal of honor kyle carpenter
Carpenter received the Medal of Honor in 2014 in recognition of an incident where he lost his eye. [Win McNamee/Getty Images]

In another statement, Carpenter’s attorney Butch Bowers told ABC News that his client turned himself in as soon as he found out that Haddad was injured in what had turned out to be a hit-and-run incident. Carpenter appeared in court on Thursday, December 31, to face the hit-and-run charge, and was released on bond.

“Kyle is grateful that no one was seriously injured, and he applauds the police for their professionalism.” Bowers told ABC News. “Kyle looks forward to continuing his education at USC and working with young people to make sure they stand up for what is right and take responsibility for their actions, just as he has done in this instance.”

As previously reported by Inquisitr, Carpenter received the Medal of Honor in 2014 in recognition of his actions as a Marine in Afghanistan in 2010. In the incident that earned him the medal, Carpenter put himself between a live grenade and fellow Marine Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio. Although Eufrazio still suffered a head injury from shrapnel, Carpenter lost an eye and required nearly 40 surgeries that included a new jaw and teeth.

According to ABC News, Carpenter flat-lined three times during initial brain surgery to remove shrapnel, and he was subsequently a patient at Walter Reed Medical Center until 2013. Carpenter retired for medical reasons at that time, and is currently enrolled as a student at the University of South Carolina, where the recent hit-and-run incident took place.

On social media, some have called for Carpenter’s Medal of Honor to be revoked, while others blame Haddad for seeking attention, publicity, or money in connection with the alleged hit-and-run.

The facts of the case seem clear, since there is surveillance footage of Carpenter pulling over, waiting for Haddad to get up and cross the street, and then leaving the scene. Since the police were called to the scene, Carpenter would appear to have committed the alleged hit-and-run crime he is now charged with, despite Haddad’s relative lack of injuries.

Would you have called the police in Haddad’s place? Do you think Carpenter is guilty of a hit-and-run?

[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press]