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News Release

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Media Relations

LAPD Officers Seriously Injured by Hit and Run Driver, Suspect still at Large

"LAPD Officers Seriously Injured by Hit and Run Driver, Suspect still at Large"


Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa, Chief of Administration Services, Captain William Sweet, Commanding Officer Central Traffic Division, Captain Kirk Albanese, Commanding Officer Wilshire Division.

Press Conference Requesting the Public’s Assistance in Identifying the Driver Responsible for the Felony Hit and Run of LAPD Officers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 2:00 p.m.

LAPD Parker Center, 150 North Los Angeles Street (In front).

Los Angeles: On Saturday, April 12, 2003, at approximately 12:55 a.m., LAPD officer Christopher Chavez, 27 years old, (3 1/2 years on the Department), and his partner Leon Maya, 29 years old, (4 years on the Department), were assigned to a crime scene perimeter at the corner of Heliotrope Drive and Beverly Boulevard. While standing next to their black and white police vehicle they were struck by a 1999 green Honda Odyssey LX van that was traveling westbound on Beverly Boulevard. According to a witness, the driver was the only occupant in the vehicle. After colliding with the officers the driver turned northbound onto Kenmore Avenue where he was last seen.

The driver is described as a male Asian, 40-45 years of age, 5’6", approximately 140 lbs, with short salt and pepper hair, wearing small round reading glasses. The hit and run vehicle should have traffic collision damage along the right side, and is missing a right side mirror.

Officers Chavez and Maya were transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where Officer Chavez was treated for severe head injuries. Chavez is stable but remains in critical condition. Officer Maya complained of pain to his head and sustained a sprain to his left ankle. Maya was treated and released.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Central Traffic Division Detectives, T. Morris or J. Meneses at 213-485-3111. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL, 1-877-529-3855.

This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Grace Brady, Media Relation Section, 213-485-3586.