Man charged in Brighton Park hit-and-run says he did not severely injure 73-year-old

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 30-year-old Chicago man has been charged in a hit-and-run that severely injured a 73-year-old man in Brighton Park last month.

Guillermo Salgado Jr. turned himself in over the weekend, Chicago police said.

RELATED: Man, 73, seriously injured in Brighton Park hit-and-run, police say

But Salgado's attorney, Frank Avila, said his client did not hit the man.

"I believe the police should be searching for the correct perpetrator. My client is accused of a crime, but he claims he is innocent," Avila said.

Efren Mendez, 73, was walking to a 6 p.m. mass at Immaculate Conception when police said Salgado, driving a red or maroon-colored Jeep Patriot, struck him near the 4400-block of South California Avenue.

Mendez now has broken ribs, a cracked skull, hearing loss and a blood clot in his brain.

"I think every day as far as my dad goes it's touch-and-go. He's very upset obviously. He asks me a lot about why anyone would hurt him," said Carlos Mendez, his son.

Salgado has been charged with one felony count of failure to report an accident with an injury and one count of leaving the scene of an accident with an injury or death.

He was in jail Wednesday and is next due in court Jan. 22.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.