Las Vegas Strip Cab Driver’s Eye Put Out by Slingshot

Posted on: November 29, 2022, 10:09h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2022, 02:09h.

It sounds like a story made up by a mother to stop her 12-year-old son from horsing around. But it became a real-life nightmare in October for a Las Vegas taxi driver, who lost an eye to a rock propelled by a slingshot on the Las Vegas Strip.

According to arrest records reviewed by KLAS-TV and published Tuesday, police say the life-altering injury was caused either by Enrique Duarte Hidalgo, or his son. Hidalgo faces charges of battery with the use of a deadly weapon, child abuse, and several gross misdemeanors. It is not clear whether his son – whose name and age were redacted in the documents – was charged with a crime.

Sling Shot
Police say either Enrique Duarte Hidalgo or his son used a slingshot to fire the rock that caused a Las Vegas cab driver to lose his eye in October. (Image: LVMPD/KLAS-TV)

The incident happened shortly before 11 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2022, according to KLAS. The taxi driver, whose name was not released, was driving past the Treasure Island Hotel Casino on the Strip when a rock flew through his open driver’s-side window. The badly bleeding driver called police, telling them he thought the rock was thrown by someone in another car. Surgery was required to remove his eye because of the severity of the injury, according to police.

Video from the surrounding area and inside the taxi failed to identify any potential suspects or vehicles, according to the KLAS report. However, police said they caught Hidalgo and his son using their slingshot on Nov. 5, 2022. Though no one else was injured in those incidents, several cars and buildings were damaged by the projectiles.

Establishing Shot

While investigating an unrelated shooting on the Strip, police said they learned of a damaged Target store window nearby. Around the same time, another driver called to report that a projectile struck his van hard enough to leave a hole in a window. Detectives then learned about another van damaged by a projectile.

Police obtained video footage from the other three incidents. All showed the same car, with two people inside, near each location. The car’s license plate was registered to Duarte Hidalgo, police said.

When officers paid a call at Hildalgo’s home on Nov. 16, police said the man saw them approach, ran into his residence, and locked the door. Hidalgo eventually emerged after police spoke to his son, according to documents, but admitted only to taking his son to get tacos. After more questioning, he admitted to using the slingshot.

Police arrested Hidalgo and his son. Hidalgo posted bond and was due in court in December, according to the KLAS report.