Authorities Wednesday sought the public’s help to find the hit-and-run motorist responsible for severely injuring a restaurant worker who was struck while riding his moped home in the downtown Los Angeles area.
Miguel Velazquez, 20, was struck from behind at about 12:35 a.m. Aug. 14 while stopped 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
A GoFundMe page was established to help pay for Velazquez’s medical and living costs while he recovers. The page is at www.gofundme.com/f/miguelito-theres-still-good-in-this-world?qid=16a8dd6e64e2bf0627f58c2eaab3b2eb.