Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who stole a pickup which he drove into a bicyclist, killing him Saturday in downtown Los Angeles.
A delivery driver was making his rounds in the 900 block of Wilshire Boulevard around 8 a.m. when a man asked him for a ride, according to Los Angeles police. The owner of the 2010 Toyota Tacoma left his truck running and when he refused to provide a ride, the suspect jumped inside and locked the doors.
The owner climbed onto the bed of the pickup and tried to get the man to come out, but instead, he kept driving, prompting the owner to jump from his own vehicle, police said.
The pickup weaved in and out of traffic and as it approached Olive Street, it hit a 46-year-old bicyclist, who landed on the pickup’s hood before falling off near Hill Street, police said.
The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. His name was withheld pending notification of next of kin. But the group Ride For Black Lives told KTLA5 that the man’s name was Branden Finley.
Meanwhile, the hit-and-run driver eventually crashed into two cars before abandoning the vehicle, police said.
Video surveillance captured the man’s image, which the LAPD released to the public. He was estimated by police to be 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds.
The barefoot man was seen wearing black pants and a blue hoodie, which he replaced with a white one, Channel 5 reported.
A reward from a city fund of up to $50,000 is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call LAPD Juan Campos at 213-833-3713 or the LAPD’s 24/7 tipline at 877-527-3247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
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