Police seek driver who struck elderly man w/ car, rendered aid, but left before officers arrived

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police are searching for a driver who hit and severely injured an elderly man in a Woodland Hills parking lot and rendered aid, but left the scene before authorities arrived.

Roy Ito's life was forever changed in what appeared to be a mistake when a car backed out of a parking spot, which sent Ito stumbling and hitting his head on the pavement.

The incident happened March 28, and Ito remains hospitalized. Bob Ozawa, the victim's son-in-law, said Ito suffered a "bad skull fracture and brain trauma."

For weeks, the family of the father and grandfather thought he had simply passed out on his own, unaware of why he really fell.

"Before this, he was really healthy and independent, and now he's just completely devastated. He's basically incapacitated. He can't do anything," Ozawa said.

Eyewitness News learned about the story because Los Angeles police put out an alert for the driver of the car, who may not know they did something wrong.

Both the driver and passenger in the car provided aid to Ito and stayed with him until paramedics arrived. But they left before police arrived, which in the eyes of the LAPD makes it a hit-and-run.

"If this person sees themselves on the newscast, we're asking them to please come forward so we can hear your side of the story and complete our investigation," Detective Bill Bustos said.

Ozawa said while the couple helped Ito, they didn't remain at the scene to provide their information and an account of what happened to police.

Ito's family would like to see the driver come forward, but their main concern is his declining health.

"Some days are good. Some days are bad. It's hard to tell if he's going to recover. He may not recover," Ozawa said.

The driver is described as a man about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds. He was seen wearing a green long-sleeve button jacket and jeans. The female passenger was wearing a long green dress and white sweater.

Authorities said the car is a newer model gray Ford Fusion.

Anyone with more information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division's Detective Larkin at (818) 644-8115 or Detective Bustos at (818) 644-8021. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (877) 527-3247.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.