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Woman booked in boy's hit-and-run death

July 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police have arrested a 23-year-old woman suspected of fleeing a fatal accident in which an 11-year-old boy was killed in South Los Angeles while crossing the street.Less than a week after the LAPD released surveillance video officers have made an arrest in the fatal hit-and-run of Natanael Garcia.

"We received an anonymous tip from a citizen," said Officer Kitti Yount of the department's South Bureau. "We followed up on that tip and located the driver in the vehicle."

Locals say the young boy's death happened on a street that is notorious for speeding and negligent drivers.

"It is pretty fast. Even with the school right here they are fast. They come through here real quick," said Henry James of Los Angeles. "I am glad my kid is not out here."

In an effort to promote pedestrian safety the LAPD launched a two hour sting operation Wednesday morning.

The LAPD placed decoys at the marked crosswalk at 77th and Hoover streets, just feet from where Garcia was killed, with officers standing by to pull over offenders. Driver after driver failed to stop.

Police say that half of the drivers that they pull over on the street are found to be driving without a license, just like the woman who was taken into custody Tuesday night.

"She said she was very sorry, but was scared and that is why she left the scene," the officer said, who added that Saldana said she knew she had hit the boy. "She doesn't have a license and didn't have insurance."

The victim's father says he feels for the woman who is in custody and that this must be one of the worst times in her life. But he says he is grateful for the work LAPD has done to help bring her to justice.

Saldana was booked on suspicion of a felony hit-and-run with a fatal injury. Her arraignment will most likely take place this week.


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