An 82-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a popular Redlands crossing guard in October, officials announced this week.
Joseph Andrew Arroya, of Big Bear, was arrested about 7 p.m. Tuesday.
He is accused running a red light and fatally striking Leonard Gilberto Ortiz, who was riding his moped-type scooter on Colton Avenue on the morning of Oct. 16.
Ortiz, 48, was severely injured and went into full cardiac arrest when first responders arrived. He was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he eventually died.
Investigators eventually identified the vehicle involved in the crash as a dark green Ford Ranger with a snug fit camper shell.
Authorities said they received information about the vehicle’s whereabouts shortly after family members pleaded to the public to come forward with information in the crash last week. An increase in a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction was also announced during that news conference on Dec. 11.
Arroya was spotted in the suspect vehicle and Redlands police officers pulled him over. He went to the Redlands
Police Department for questioning and was eventually arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
No further details about the suspect have been released.
Ortiz was known as “Bams” and worked near Lugonia Elementary and Clement Middle schools.
Tributes for the crossing guard flooded a GoFundMe page after his death. Dozens of people left heartfelt messages expressing their condolences. Many commented on his kindness, and his well-known greeting — a wave — to passersby.
Ortiz left behind a wife, children and grandchildren.