Hit-and-Run Driver Sought by LAPD

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Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the identification of the suspect involved in a hit-and-run collision that left 89-year-old Roy Ito hospitalized.

Surveillance video shows Roy Ito being struck by a car that was backing up in a parking lot. The unidentified driver and passenger checked on him but then left the scene.

On Tuesday, March 28, around 9:30 a.m., Topanga officers responded to a radio call of a hit-and-run in a parking lot located to the rear of the 22000 block of Burbank Boulevard west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. When officers arrived at the location they found that Ito had been walking in the parking lot when the suspect’s car was backing out of a parking spot. Ito was hit by the rear end of the car and fell to the ground, hitting his head and causing a serious injury.

The driver of the vehicle stopped to render aid to Ito but left the scene without identifying himself to authorities.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene. Ito was transported to a local area hospital, where he is still listed in critical condition.

“He just lost his balance, fell over backward, hit the back of his head and got a pretty bad skull fracture with brain bleeding,” Bob Ozawa, the victim’s son-in-law, told Fox11 News. “Some days he won’t accept any medical assistance or medication, or won’t eat or drink and he’s been in the hospital like five weeks.”

Ozawa said his father-in-law doesn’t remember anything about the accident. Ito was a healthy and active grandfather, but now his family isn’t sure if he’ll ever recover.

“I don’t blame them. I don’t think they meant any harm, but it’s the law to leave your identity in an incident like this or it’s technically a crime,” Ozawa said. “I want them to come forward and take responsibility.”

The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He was seen wearing a green, long-sleeved button jacket and blue jeans. A female passenger was also at scene. She was seen wearing a long green dress and a white sweater.

The suspect vehicle is described a newer-model, grey Ford Fusion.

To see a video of the incident, go to www.lapdonline.org/home/news_view/62262.

On April 15, 2015, the City Council amended the Los Angeles Administrative Code and created a Hit-and-Run Reward Program Trust Fund. A reward of up to $25,000 is available to community members who provide information leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division, Detective Larkin at (818) 644-8115 or Detective Bustos at (818) 644-8021.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip.

Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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