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California police seek Jeep driver who reportedly ran over teen, apologized and fled the scene

Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-07 22:20:52-04

LOS ANGELES - Police are looking for the driver of a Jeep SUV who allegedly apologized to a 13-year-old girl for striking her with his vehicle before leaving the scene of the crash in the Pico-Union area Friday morning.

The crash was reported about 6:30 a.m. when the victim was walking to school, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The girl was crossing in a marked crosswalk at Pico Boulevard and Alvarado Street when she was struck by a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee heading north.

The driver allegedly hit the girl twice before stopping, getting out of his vehicle and apologizing for hitting her, police said.

“He actually stopped, went in reverse, and then came back and struck her a second time," LAPD Detective Moses Castillo said. "He got out of his vehicle, approached her and told her, ‘Hey, I’m sorry,’ but then got back in his car and took off.”

The driver fled north on Alvarado without identifying himself or helping the victim.

He is described as a black man in his 30s who is about 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 270 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes and was wearing a black cap, a gray shirt and black shoes.

His vehicle had license plates from another, unknown state, police said.

The victim, Natalia Rodriguez, said a man and his son eventually stopped, helped her and called police.

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the crash.