WOODLAND HILLS—On Tuesday, May 9, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released security footage of a driver who struck and injured an 89-year-old man in a Woodland Hills parking lot before leaving the scene. Officials from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect, according to the news release.
The collision occurred on March 28 at around 9:30 a.m., in the 22000 block of Burbank Boulevard west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Roy Ito was walking in a Denny’s parking lot when the suspect backed his car out of a parking spot, striking Ito and causing him to stumble and hit his head on the pavement.
According to the LAPD, the male driver “stopped to render aide to Mr. Ito but failed to identify himself.” The driver and a female passenger stayed with Ito until paramedics arrived, but left before police came to the scene. The Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics transported Ito to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
Bob Ozawa, Ito’s son-in-law, described Ito as a healthy and active father and grandfather. The family is concerned that he may not recover.
According to Detective Bill Bustos of the LAPD, any individual involved in a traffic collision must stop, call 911, and remain at the scene to identify themselves when police officers arrive. In this particular case, somebody else contacted the authorities.
The driver is described as a male, standing 5 feet and 10 inches tall, and weighing about 180 pounds. In the video, he was seen wearing a green long-sleeved jacket with buttons and blue jeans. The female passenger was wearing a long green dress and a white sweater. Their vehicle is described as a newer model gray Ford Fusion.
Anyone with more information about the collision is asked to contact LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division Detective Larkin at 818-644-8115 or Detective Bustos at 818-644-8021. After business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).
Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8577) or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may visit www.lapdonline.org and submit an online tip through “Anonymous Web Tips,” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu.