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Suspect wanted in O.C. hit-and-run

May 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
28-year-old Richard Zarate thought he was doing the right thing. As he and his girlfriend, a relative and another friend were leaving Loffler's bar, he spoke up when he saw another man urinating on the building.

"The victim asked the suspect not to do that since there were women present," said Orange County spokesman Jim Amormino. "That upset the suspect. Words were exchanged."

The O.C. police dept said what followed was a horrible crime. The man urinating on the building got behind the wheel of a Honda. When the suspect saw Zarate, he hit the gas, knocking Zarate to the ground and subsequently running him over.

"Once they hit the victim, the victim was dragged approximately 75 yards," said Amormino. "They made a u-turn and ran him over again."

Someone in the car grabbed Zarate's girlfriend by the hair. She was knocked to the ground, but was not critically injured.

Zarate was rushed to UCI medical center where he later died.

The suspect fled in a newer model light brown Honda with tinted windows and chrome rims.

Its license plate had the number 1 with likely a 'Q' or a 'G' on it. The car is likely to have front-end damage.

The staff at Loffler's bar is said to be cooperating with police in the matter.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call them at (714) 628-7170.

 

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