Photos Released in Search for Hit-and-Run Driver Who Struck LAPD Officer in Florence

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Emergency crews respond to an injured police officer in South Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 2019. (Credit: Loudlabs)

Emergency crews respond to an injured police officer in South Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 2019. (Credit: Loudlabs)

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Investigators released a surveillance photo Thursday in their hunt for a hit-and-run driver who struck a police officer in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles this week.

The driver fled the scene and did not stop to render aid following the crash on San Pedro Street around 10:20 p.m. Monday, the L.A. Police Department said in a news release.

LAPD Officer Mike Martinez had pulled over a suspected stolen vehicle just south of 61st Street and was investigating when a minivan hit him coming from the other direction, officials say.

Martinez said he was rolled up onto the van’s hood as it continued into the intersection; when the officer rolled off, the driver sped away.

Martinez said the driver “definitely knew that the 200-pound Hispanic policeman on top of his hood didn’t belong there.”

The driver was last seen heading north on San Pedro Street.

The van that struck a Los Angeles police officer in South L.A. on Aug. 26, 2019, is seen in a surveillance image released by the department, top, and below is a photo showing a similar vehicle.
The van that struck a Los Angeles police officer in South L.A. on Aug. 26, 2019, is seen in a surveillance image released by the department, top, and below is a photo showing a similar vehicle.

The officer suffered injuries to his elbow, wrist and knee, but elected to visit his doctor rather go to a hospital.

This is not the first time a driver struck Martinez, who said a drunk driver hit him earlier in his career.

The minivan is described as a Toyota Sienna or Dodge from the late ’90s or early 2000s with two-toned gray paint — dark gray on top, light gray on bottom — and a black-painted hood.

The driver is a Latino man with short black or gray hair between the age of 28 and 50, police say.

As with any hit and run in the city, a reward of $50,000 is tied to information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Anyone with information can contact the LAPD detectives at 213-833-3713, Officer Poss at 213-486-0760, or 323-421-2577 after normal business hours. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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