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Gardena hit-and-run: Daughter of LAPD sergeant arrested

July 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman has been arrested in connection to a fatal hit-and-run in Gardena. Eyewitness News has learned exclusively that her father, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, has also become part of the investigation.

In a heated on-camera confrontation, LAPD Sgt. Arturo Yanez was angry after Eyewitness News filmed his daughter, 22-year-old Vanessa Yanez leaving the Gardena Police Department after being booked on felony charges in connection to the hit-and-run.

Jesse Dotson, 60, was run down June 26 as he was riding his bike to work at the Postal Service. The suspect took off, leaving Dotson and his crumpled bike lying in the street.

"It was incredible to think that somebody could just run somebody over and just go. Where's the humanity?" said Lorna-Ashley Dotson, the victim's wife.

Gardena investigators say a Huntington Park police officer tipped them off after seeing the story on Eyewitness News, just after Vanessa Yanez had filed a report with that department that her car had been stolen.

Authorities found her severely damaged car with a shattered front windshield at the Gardena home she shares with her family, including her father.

"You're enforcing law on other people and your own kids don't know the rules? They don't know to stop? If they have an accident, they don't know the protocol?" Lorna-Ashley Dotson asked.

Dotson's family say they're grateful his alleged killer has been caught, but wonder how much the suspect's father may have known. And so do Gardena detectives, who are now investigating the LAPD sergeant's potential knowledge of the deadly accident. His own department is also now investigating.

Gardena detectives said the sergeant could face charges if it turns out he had any information about the accident. His daughter faces a long list of charges, including vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, perjury and filing a false police report. She's expected to be in court on Monday.


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