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2 arrested in East L.A. hit-and-run death

June 13, 2008 7:06:59 AM PDT
Police arrested two men in connection with the hit-and-run death of a 9-year-old boy in East Los Angeles. Surveillance video helped authorities nab the suspects after the boy was struck down while walking across the street.

Click on the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Amy Powell's report from Monterey Park.

It was an emotional morning for the parents of Jesus Sanchez, but they are very grateful to the police, the public and the media for helping catch the man who authorities say stuck and killed their son.

The deadly hit-and-run accident happened on June 1, and it was captured on surveillance video from a nearby store.

The video shows several family members crossing through Ford Boulevard near Cesar Chavez Avenue in east L.A. Moments later, 9-year-old Jesus Sanchez, who was attempting to cross the street to catch up with his family, is seen struck by a car.

Witnesses say the red Honda sped away from the scene without stopping.

Investigators released the surveillance video and the third grader's family appealed to the public for help in catching the suspects. Authorities say information from members of the public who saw the video helped lead to the arrests.

Police say Juventino Velez Huerta was arrested at his place of work by CHP officers on June 10. The 38-year-old Los Angeles resident is believed to be the driver of the Honda involved in the accident. He was booked on charges of felony hit-and-run and manslaughter at the L.A. County jail, and faces a maximum of seven years in jail if convicted.

A second man, 28-year-old Luis Olivarez of Montebello, was also arrested and booked on suspicion of evidence tampering. Authorities say Olivarez was a passenger in the Honda. He has been released on $20,000 bail.

Velez Huerta is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on June 26.

 

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