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Lack Of Arrest In Alleged Hit-And-Run Questioned

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Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

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The Los Angeles Police Department's response to a hit-and-run collision that injured a cyclist last week downtown has come under scrutiny as the driver was never arrested. The collision on East Second Street was reported shortly before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and it injured, of all people, a man who was headed to his job at City Hall.

CityWatch LA reports that the victim, Ed Magos, was injured but that the driver allegedly got out of the vehicle, looked at him, walked back to the SUV, and drove off. She soon reported the collision at the Rampart Division, and the woman was not arrested. Hit-and-run or not? (Magos was taken to a hospital and is recovering).

CityWatch seems to think it was, and maybe we're reading this wrong, but California law seems to be on the same page as well. California Vehicle Code section 20001 states, in part, "The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident ... "

It seems cut-and-dry, and CityWatch seems to bring the notion of uneven enforcement, writing that "some victims count less" (in this case, a cyclist). Also, CityWatch and Streetsblog Los Angeles note that the vehicle involved was a Porsche, described as either a Carrera (911) or a Cayenne (SUV).

The vehicle code states that the punishment for being convicted of leaving the scene of an injury accident is, at the least, a $1,000 fine and possible time behind bars. Whether or not police have actually place a suspect under arrest in order for wheels of justice to proceed is up to them. In this case, they passed.

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