Police on Tuesday arrested a man on suspicion of killing a pedestrian in a Santa Monica parking lot while intoxicated before fleeing, officials said.
Absadi Kidane, 21, was detained following a foot pursuit and struggle after several witnesses reported a vehicle versus pedestrian incident around 3:30 p.m. in the Civic Center parking lot at 1821 Main St., said Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriguez.
The victim, a man in his 40s, was found lying unresponsive on Main Street suffering from critical injuries, officials said. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died.
Witnesses told police the driver entered the parking lot from 4th Street, then continued west at a high rate of speed. The vehicle then hit the victim while he was paying for his parking at a machine in the lot, according to Rodriguez.
The victim went airborne for several feet before coming to rest, he said.
The vehicle continued driving across Main Street and struck a parked car, prompting the suspect to flee on foot, police said.
"Several witnesses were approaching him, trying to grab the car keys from him, at which point the suspect immediately started running," Rodriguez told KTLA.
After a brief pursuit, officers caught up with Kidane on the 300 block of Pico Boulevard. He initially resisted arrest but was taken into custody following a struggle, according to Santa Monica police.
Kidane was booked on suspicion of homicide, vehicular manslaugter, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony driving under the influence, felony hit-and-run and forcibly resisting arrest. He is being held on a $2 million bail.
April Arrandt, who witnessed the incident, said it made her feel less safe in Santa Monica, where she just moved to from Florida this January.
“Why is this happening? You know, people are getting hurt," she told KTLA. “I was actually walking, I stopped to get coffee, and my thought was, ‘In another five minutes, I could have been the guy.’ "