See update at end of post.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 11, 3:36 P.M.: In an attempt to locate the driver and passenger of a vehicle that rammed into a 20-year-old man, who was thrown into the windshield and air, the Buena Park Police Department has released the graphic surveillance video that is shown after the jump.
It's only 37 seconds long, but you have to watch to the end for the money shot.
Did you just yell, “Whoa!” into your screen, too?
This happened just after 1 p.m. Sunday at Orangethorpe Avenue and Campus Drive. That's the 20-year-old crossing Campus at Orangethrope with a friend when the car seems to make a beeline straight for him.
“The vehicle struck the victim with such force that it caused him to strike the front windshield and the impact propelled him into the air,” reads a Buena Park Police Department statement. “The driver of the vehicle never stopped and made no attempts to render aid after hitting the victim with his vehicle.”
Police are unsure whether the driver meant to hit the pedestrian, or if they even knew one another.
The vehicle, which was captured from a nearby surveillance camera zooming off on Orangethorpe, is believed to be a gold, four-door Mitsubishi Galant with tinted windows. The license plate could not be seen, although the fellow's buddy is shown making a gallant effort to run the car down.
His pal suffered significant but non-life threatening injuries, according to police, who note he was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange.
The driver of the car was described as a thin male Hispanic, while his front passenger was a female Hispanic with her hair up in a bun. The car is believed to have sustained moderate damage, especially to the front passenger side windshield that the man flew into.
Anyone with information about the car, driver or passenger is asked to contact Detective Burciaga at 714.562.3970. The driver could face hit-and-run and assault with a deadly weapon charges, police say.
UPDATE, JUNE 12, 5:52 P.M.: According to Buena Park Police Cpl. Andy Luong, the department spokesman, yesterday's release of the disturbing video above of a hit-and-run has not resulted in a suspect arrest or the location of the suspect car.
“Our detectives have been working possible leads all day,” Luong writes in an e-mail this afternoon.
To further help the investigation, the revised, longer video of incident is included below, along with the accompanying 911 audio.
Anyone with information is once again asked to contact Detective Burciaga at 714.562.3970.
UPDATE, JUNE 13, 4:07 P.M.: At a press conference this afternoon arranged by Buena Park Police Cpl. Andy Luong,
the 20-year-old man who was struck by a hit-and-run driver Sunday had three messages for the assembled media: he thought he would die, he is “truly blessed” he lived, and he is baffled why anyone would try to kill him.
The man, who was not identified and spoke from behind a screen to protect his identity as the hit-and-run driver and passenger are still at large, claimed he gets along with everyone. As the videos Luong has dutifully posted show, the driver seemed to have something against the victim because the car never appears to brake and zooms off after throwing the man into its windshield.
“As soon as I hit the floor, I thought I was done,” the victim said. “I thought it was all over.”
More than anything, he repeated, “I'm blessed. I'm truly blessed.”
“You hear older people in
your life telling you all the time that life is too short . . . and just by being in that accident now I
understand what they are talking about. I'm 20. I almost lost
my life three days ago.”
He says he's now going to enjoy life to the fullest like those old folks advise, not that it will be easy at first. While he suffered no broken bones, he conceded he's “in a lot of pain. There is a lot of bruising. It's hard for me to move
but I got through it.”
Luong says detectives still have no suspects nor a suspect car.