LAPD Officer Seriously Injured by Hit and Run Driver

April 12, 2003

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 1994-98 green mini 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.
A photograph of both officers is available through Media Relations Section.
This investigation is on going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Central Traffic Division Detectives, T. Morris or J. Meneses at 213-485-3111 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213- 485-3122. 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 Press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Renee’ Montoya, Media Relation Section, 213-485-3586.