Rewards in hit and run accidents

June 6, 2008 9:54:21 AM PDT
A $10,000 reward is being offered in a hit and run caught on tape. New Hampshire Governor M. Jodi Rell announced rewards of $10,000 each for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for two recent hit-and-run crashes that left an 11-year-old girl dead in New Haven and a 78-year-old man paralyzed in Hartford.

"These terrible crimes cannot be allowed to go unsolved," Governor Rell said. "The sorrow and anguish of the families is compounded by the fact that so far no one has taken responsibility for their actions. We will not allow our society - in our cities or anywhere else - to descend into a lonely and desperate place where the injured lie untended and violent criminals roam unrestrained.

Police on Wednesday released surveillance video of the second incident, which shows Angel Torres being struck by a car on May 30. The car, an older model black or blue Honda, appeared to be chasing a tan Toyota.

Police said Torres is in critical condition at Hartford Hospital and is paralyzed.

The video shows numerous cars and pedestrians passing by as Torres lies motionless in the street before a police car arrives on the scene.

"It's a clear indication of what we have become," Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts said. "When you see a man laying in the street who's been hit by a car, people just drive around him, walk by him and then you want to say, 'What are the police doing?' Well, that's not a police problem.

"At the end of the day we've got to look at ourselves and understand that our moral values have now changed." Roberts said. "We have no regard for each other."

Police and Torres' family say they are hoping the video will help lead to an arrest.

"My father is fighting for his life," said Torres' son, Angel Arce. "I would like the public right now to help us in identifying the car and the person that did this."

Governor Rell spoke by telephone today to the families of Angel Arce Torres, who was struck in Hartford on May 30, and Gabrielle Lee, who was killed in New Haven on Wednesday night.

"I was pleased to learn that the disturbing video of the Hartford crash scene, which seemed to show passers-by ignoring Mr. Torres, does not tell the full story," the Governor said. "Several people in the area immediately dialed 911 to seek medical attention for the injured man. Now I am calling on anyone who may be able to provide more information on the cars, the drivers or the events that led up the crash to come forward."

On the Net: