Boy Who Was Dragged 1,500 Feet in South L.A. Hit-and-Run Released from Hospital 3 Months Later

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A 16-year-old-boy who was critically injured after being struck in a hit-and-run in August was released from the hospital on Friday, according to Los Angeles Police Department Detective Moses Castillo.

Roberto Diaz visited the LAPD Central Traffic Division on Nov. 1, 2019, after being released from the hospital (Credit: LAPD Detective Moses Castillo)

Roberto Diaz visited the LAPD Central Traffic Division on Nov. 1, 2019, after being released from the hospital (Credit: LAPD Detective Moses Castillo)

Roberto Diaz, who was 15 at the time, was hit on Aug. 6 on Maple Avenue near East 37th Street  in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles, by a suspect who remains at large, authorities said. The teenager was dragged about 1,500 feet before his body was dislodged from the vehicle.

Diaz has since undergone 11 to 12 surgeries, according to his mother, Belen Garcia, and still needs physical therapy. But he is now able to walk with a special boot on his right leg and with a walker, although he gets tired and needs to take breaks, Garcia said.

"It's a miracle because they were talking about amputating his leg," Castillo said. "We are very thankful and grateful to see that Roberto has made a remarkable recovery."

Diaz visited the LAPD Central Traffic Division after his release from the hospital on Friday, where he shook hands with Castillo and other officers who had worked on his case.

Diaz was in an intensive care unit at first, and was transferred to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles during his recovery, Castillo said.

On the night of the crash, responding officers found Diaz severely injured near the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The teen had just left a nearby store after buying a soda and was riding his bike in the crosswalk when a car ran a stop sign and struck him, authorities said.

The vehicle that hit Diaz stopped momentarily but eventually fled the scene, according to witnesses.

Nearly three months after the incident, the case remains open and the driver has not been identified.

Police describe the vehicle as a 2007 or 2008, dark-blue Honda Accord or Civic with tinted windows.

A video released by detectives shows another car, a dark-colored SUV, heading east on 35th Street when it stopped at Maple Avenue to avoid colliding with the suspect Honda. Moments later, the sedan hit Diaz, officials said.

No description of the driver was available.

Anyone with information can contact LAPD’s Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-833-3713.

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