Last Friday night, Johntel Lewis went to Café Mawal to meet friends for a birthday dinner. He specifically remembers going to the restaurant and handing over his keys to the valet service.
“He asked for the keys and he said, ‘The keys?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, the keys are right here,’ and that’s the last thing, ‘Lewis recalls. “We were there. We ordered food. By the time the food came back, someone was dead. People came into the restaurant saying people were dead on the street. I didn’t know that it was my car. “
Houston Police allege 17-year-old Ahmedal Modawi drove Lewis’ 2013 Infiniti to a nearby parking lot to bake donuts. In exclusive surveillance footage obtained by ABC13, an HPD patrol car can be seen parking in the parking lot adjacent to where the donuts are said to have taken place. The car makes a circle and initiates a traffic stop.
Workers walking to their parked cars can be seen on video, starting towards the direction where the accident happened, near the entrance to Prospect Park.
Investigators say Modawi crashed the car against Fnan Measho, Eric Orduna and Nick Rodriguez. The three were all contract valet drivers for Prospect Park. They were killed in the accident.
SEE ALSO: 3 valets identified in fatal accident caused by reckless driver near sports bar on Friday night
The car was so mutilated in the crash that Lewis, upon seeing the scene of the crash, didn’t even realize his car was involved.
Modawi’s family members walked away from our ABC13 cameras on Tuesday, but neighbors said they were upset with everything.
“It makes me nervous. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it is,” neighbor Melissa Fannin said. “We [have] kids. It’s just unsettling. “
Representatives of Café Mawal maintain that Modawi is neither an employee nor a contractor of the restaurant. Prosecutors pushed this back, noting that the passenger in the car at the time of the crash was wearing a shirt with the valet logo when he was taken to hospital. Café Mawal said he was working with his lawyers to clarify his position to police and prosecutors.
SEE ALSO: Teenager accused of murder was in customer’s car in crash that killed 3 valets, sources say
Meanwhile, Lewis still holds the keys to someone else’s car. He said that within hours of the sinking, Café Mawal’s valet parking gave him an Infiniti car key, but it does not belong to his car. He kept the key because he said it was his proof that he had eaten at the restaurant and used the valet parking service.
Lewis started a small GoFundMe pay transportation costs until his insurance can help him buy a new car. He was due to start a new job this week, but it was put on hold because he has no transportation.
“I feel bad for families,” said Lewis, who also frequented Prospect Park. “I’m sure I saw them or that they parked my car.”
SEE ALSO: Valet killed in crash beat childhood leukemia before dying by reckless driver, relatives say
Family members of Measho, Orduna and Rodriguez are planning a funeral right now.
Meanwhile, prosecutors continue to investigate the case. Modawi is due in court on Wednesday, but he remains hospitalized and is not expected to appear.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.