Serial Hit-&-Run Psycho Caused Crashes, Assaulted Drivers, Authorities Say

Serial Hit-&-Run Psycho Caused Crashes, Assaulted Drivers, Authorities Say
File photo by Brandon Herer/Flickr

The L.A. area's hit-and-run epidemic is bad enough.

The typical perpetrator is drunk, here illegally, or simply afraid of the consequences. But prosecutors say that 43-year-old Donald James Kleven was a serial hit-and-run maniac who purposely caused scary crashes and assaulted drivers.

Kleven pleaded guilty to a slew of charges yesterday.

The L.A. County District Attorney's Office filed a case that includes "three counts of assault with a deadly weapon — an automobile — three counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage and one count each of false imprisonment by violence and vandalism over $400 damage," according to a statement.

Prosecutors allege that Kleven went on a hit-and-run spree in March and April, assaulting "several motorists" along the 405 and on other roadways in Long Beach and Carson.

"The defendant would allegedly follow his victims, pull up in front of them with his car, and then cause a crash," the DA's office stated. "On April 24, Kleven purportedly blocked a victim on an on-ramp, exited his vehicle and then began kicking the victim's car."

Long Beach police arrested Kleven on Wednesday, according to L.A. Sheriff's Department inmate records. He remained behind bars in lieu of $160,000 bail, according to that department.

The California Highway Patrol is the lead investigative agency. Charges were filed Tuesday, the day before Kleven's arrest, so it sounds like authorities knew who they wanted for this before the suspect was in handcuffs.

Prosecutors say Kleven faces eight years and 10 months behind bars if he's successfully prosecuted.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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