Police are asking the public's help in finding a man who they say struck and seriously injured a young woman, causing her to lose one of her legs, before abandoning his SUV and fleeing the scene last month.
Paulino Diego Pedro, 30, was spotted in surveillance video ditching his vehicle and running away a few blocks away from the scene of the collision, which took place about 3:20 p.m. on March 22 at Jefferson Boulevard, just east of San Pedro Street, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement. But he remained at large Wednesday.
The 20-year-old woman struck in the hit-and-run suffered injuries including "several fractures throughout her body" and had to have her right leg amputated, according to police and family.
"The victim was about to enter her parked vehicle on Jefferson Boulevard just east of San Pedro Street when she was struck by Pedro's vehicle," according to the statement.
A surveillance camera captured footage of the driver, later identified as Pedro, abandoning his SUV about two blocks away and running, police said.
Victim Stephanie Vasquez said the past few weeks have been difficult.
“At first, it was really hard for me to accept the fact that I went through a really bad accident and had to go through amputation," she said.
A standing $25,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles is offered for those who provide information that leads to the capture and conviction of drivers involved in injury hit-and-run collisions.
Pedro has ties to both Los Angeles and Riverside counties, officials said.
Vasquez said she would like to see the driver "just come forward and take responsibility for his actions."
Anyone with information was urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective Moses Castillo at 213-833-3713, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.