Accident Follow-Up: Hit-and-Run Driver Not Charged Yet?

shoe-flip-hat
Last month we reported on an accident where three pedestrians were hit by a car on 441, northbound near West Boca Medical center.
We’ve been trying to follow up on this case but PBSO was not helpful initially. Over a month later we finally got a few records. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to give us a lead so we could find out more.
For starters we’ve learned the names of the individuals involved in the accident. One of the pedestrians hit was Victor Carneiro Brito, who is 18 years old and reportedly lives in the Boca Entrada apartments. The other two pedestrians, both male, are under 18 so we are not including their names in this story. One is a student in one of the middle schools in West Boca.
We’ve also learned that the alleged driver is Brett Knowles (30), of Boca Isles. Mr. Knowles appears to be a 2002 graduate of Olympic Heights High School, and he may work as a barber.

Brett Knowles
Brett Knowles

Mr. Knowles has a substantial history in the Palm Beach County courts. This is not a typo – he has 41 cases in the system. Some of them are multiple charges from one incident, but that’s still a lot.
Here’s a mugshot from a 2013 arrest for driving with a suspended license:
brett-knowles-mug
The court record indicates he got 4 days in jail for that one. He had a similar incident in 2012 and got 10 days in jail, which may have been longer because he failed to show up for a court date. Oddly the 2013 incident was charged as a first offense even though it obviously was at least the second offense.
Mr. Knowles faced felony drug charges in 2008 and 2010. On the 2008 case he was sentenced to 10 days in jail and on the 2010 cases (2 incidents) he got 6 months.
Update: It occurred to us we should check Broward. Mr. Knowles had an incident there in August of 2013. It was a combination of drug possession, a traffic ticket, and criminal driving with a suspended license.
In addition to those he’s had a few misdemeanors and numerous traffic tickets. He also demonstrated questionable judgment by posting this on his Facebook page:
knowles-gecko
We spoke with a family member of one of the pedestrians. PBSO informed the family that Mr. Knowles was driving with a suspended license, that police were tipped as to the license plate and met him at his home, where he admitted being the driver.
Here’s where it gets interesting: From the court records database, no charges have been filed against Mr. Knowles yet, not even a traffic ticket. A deputy told the family that Mr. Knowles would be in jail within a few days. It’s been over five weeks and he is still free with no charges pending from the incident.
Update – PBSO’s Theresa Barbera responded:

This investigation is still active and ongoing. Once completed the state attorneys office will review. These types of investigations take days, weeks and sometimes months.

We tried to reach Mr. Knowles but he hung up on us. To be fair, that’s probably a good decision on his part.
All three pedestrians were hurt, ranging from head injuries and broken bones to one undergoing surgery. Both to protect their privacy and because we don’t have enough information, we won’t go into more detail on the extent of the injuries.
No one likes to think too much about the possibility of being involved in a car accident, but it is important to remember that if you are caught up in a collision that you suspect was not your fault, you might want to consider filing a lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be an expensive process, but there are a variety of methods to help you cover the financial costs.
Nova Legal Funding provides lawsuit loans that can help you to get a personal injury lawsuit off the ground. For more information go to fundmylawsuitnow.com.
We still hope to get more information on this case. If any of our readers can provide us with more or put us in touch with anyone involved, please let us know. We can be reached at warren@westbocanews.com.

Author: Warren Redlich

Warren Redlich is a real estate agent and an attorney. He focuses on selling homes in West Boca Raton. Find out more at Yes Boca Real Estate.