Just hours after a $25,000 reward was offered for the capture of the person responsible for a horrific hit-and-run accident in Boyle Heights, police arrested a 23-year-old man Tuesday in connection with the incident.
According to CBS 2, police said that tips from the public led to the arrest of Luis Raya-Flores who allegedly struck and injured a 53-year-old bicyclist earlier this month and fled the scene.
The crash happened Aug. 22 at about 10:30 p.m. The victim was riding his bicycle east on Whittier Boulevard near Calzona street when a white pickup truck crossed the center divider into oncoming traffic and hit him head-on, Los Angeles police said.
A video released by LAPD shows the moment the crash threw the bicyclist into the air and flipped him before he came back down onto the truck’s hood and onto the ground. After the crash, the truck was seen veering back onto the right side of the street. Police say the driver did not stop to help the bicyclist and fled the scene in the truck.
Police withheld the name of the bicyclist, who survived the crash but was taken to a nearby hospital with severe injuries.
Police said Tuesday that Raya-Flores admitted to being that driver when he was picked up by agents at his Canoga Park area home. According to a police detective who spoke with CBS 2, Raya-Flores said he fled because he panicked after hitting the bicyclist.
The suspect was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail. It was not clear Tuesday if someone was claiming the $25,000 reward being offered.
On Tuesday police said the victim was recovering at home. Spanish-language media identified him as Gabriel López, a construction worker and the father of five.
In an interview with Telemundo 52, López showed some of his injuries –which he said included a fractured vertebrae– and said he was uncertain of when he’d be able to return to work.
He said the accident was a painful experience but that he is glad that he survived it.
Photo above: image captured from video released by LAPD shows the moment the vehicle impacted a bicyclist on Whittier Boulevard Aug. 22.