LOS ANGELES – A man possibly responsible for the hit-and-run injury of a restaurant worker on a moped in the downtown Los Angeles area brought the car believed to have been involved in the crash to a police facility Thursday, and was released pending further investigation, authorities said.
The man, who was not arrested, went to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division facility downtown about 11:45 a.m. Thursday with a blue Mini Cooper believed involved in last week’s crash.
Felony Hit-and-Run Causes Severe Injury in Downtown LA— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) August 24, 2022
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“On the advice of his attorney, he did not make a statement,” Campos said. “He was released, pending further investigation.”
Campos said the man is “a registered owner” of the car, which had collision damage and was impounded. The man was accompanied by family members, but he was not accompanied by his attorney, Campos said.
Miguel Velazquez, 20, was struck from behind at about 12:35 a.m. Aug. 14 while stopped on his moped at a traffic signal at Third and Flower streets, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.
Security video of the collision shows Velazquez stopped at a red light when a car, described by police as a royal blue Mini Cooper with a sunroof, approaches on westbound Third Street and slams into the moped from behind, sending the small scooter and the rider flying.
“Just as I was mid-turn, he slammed into me, and I was already in the air at that point,” Velazquez told ABC7, noting that he was on his way home from work at the time. “I hit my wrist, breaking that when I fractured the other, and my tailbone was badly bruised.”
The driver of the Mini Cooper stopped briefly at the intersection, then drove away.
Velazquez told reporters three bystanders helped get him to the curb, and some followed the vehicle that struck him.
Police said a witness also took video of the motorist fleeing the scene.
“The video captured a Toyota Prius flashing its front headlights as it was following the Mini Cooper northbound on Beaudry Street,” police said. “Detectives also wish to speak to the driver of the Prius, who may have further information on the Mini Cooper.”
A standing reward of up to $25,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information that helps solve a non-fatal hit and run.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to contact detectives at 213-833-3713 or via email at email@example.com. Tipsters may also call police at 877-527-3247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS; or use the website www.lacrimestoppers.org.
The driver of the Mini Cooper was described by police as man in his 40s with black hair.
Velazquez told Channel 7 that after he was struck, he was able to “look up and make eye contact with the individual (driver). He did have a look of concern, mainly for himself, not for me in any way.”
Velazquez said he only recently moved to Los Angeles from Chicago. He praised the bystanders who came to his aid, and said he is grateful to be alive.