6.26.12 Charges filed in Hit & Run

26 June 2012 by Lt. Todd Umstead

Shortly after 1 pm on June 7th, 2012, Officer Michael Dean of the Lancaster City Police investigated a child struck by a vehicle in the 300 block of Ice Ave. A 5 year-old child crossing the street was struck by a blue Jeep. The occupants of the Jeep, a male driver and a pregnant female passenger, both got out of the vehicle and saw that the child was injured. Both occupants remained at the scene briefly and then got back in the vehicle and left.

     A private citizen provided surveillance video and police obtained still photos from that video. The pictures below show the vehicle involved which has been identified as a 1999-2004 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. The vehicle is dark blue with grey plastic trim around the bottom of the vehicle. There appears to be a sticker on the bottom center of the rear window.

     The driver is described as a Hispanic male subject, wearing a black T-shirt and dark colored long shorts. He is pictured driving the vehicle. The pregnant female passenger appears to be wearing a green shirt, dark colored shorts and silver colored shoes.  She is pictured standing behind the vehicle. There was a child in a booster seat on the back seat of the Jeep. The child’s hair was pulled up in the back into a pony tail.

     The 5 year old child sustained injured to his legs and forearms. He was treated at Lancaster General Hospital and is recuperating at home.

     Anyone with information about this vehicle or the occupants is urged to contact Officer Michael Dean at 717-735-3301. The Lancaster City Police will not release the video due to the graphic nature of the collision.

*******UPDATED INFORMATION JUNE 26, 2012*********

      Lancaster City Police have identified and charged the driver and the passenger of the vehicle involved in this hit and run crash. Shortly after the photographs of the suspect vehicle were distributed to the media, Sgt. Bill Hickey received an anonymous phone tip regarding the subjects involved in this incident. Off. Michael Dean followed up on this tip and located both the driver and the passenger. It was discovered that the suspect vehicle, a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, is owned by the passenger. The vehicle was located in a garage in the 600 block of W. Fulton St. The license plate had been removed by the driver and passenger. It was discovered that the driver has a suspended driver’s license. As a result of this investigation, the following persons were charged by Off. Dean before MDJ Jimenez:

       1. (Driver) Johnny VELEZ-IRIZARRY 21-year-old male

           700 blk. N. Shippen St., Lancaster PA

          Charged with Accidents Involving Injury or Death, Tampering with Evidence,          Criminal Conspiracy (Tampering with Evidence), Obstruction of Administration of Law or other Government Function, Criminal Conspiracy (Obstruction of Administration of Law or other Government Function), and Operating During Suspension.

       2. (Passenger / vehicle owner) Yaritza RIVERA-TORRES  19-year-old female

          700 blk. George St., Lancaster PA

          Charged with Tampering with Evidence, Criminal Conspiracy (Tampering with Evidence), Obstruction of Administration of Law or other Government Function, and Criminal Conspiracy (Obstruction of Administration of Law or other Government Function).

     Both subjects were arraigned before MDJ Jimenez on June 26, 2012. Johnny VELEZ-  IRIZARRY was released on $15,000.00 unsecured bail. Yaritza RIVERA-TORRES was released on $10,000.00 unsecured bail. 

     The victim is expected to make a full recovery and is continuing to recover at home.

**THE BUREAU OF POLICE IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING THAT THE MEDIA LIMIT WHAT IS PUBLISHED TO THAT WHICH IS ON THIS NEWS RELEASE AND SHOULD THE MEDIA BECOME AWARE OF ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PARTICULARLY THE NAMES OF ANY WITNESSES OR LANCASTER RESIDENTS IN THIS CASE, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THEY REFRAIN FROM PUBLISHING THAT INFORMATION SO AS NOT TO JEOPARDIZE THE SAFETY OF ANYONE NOR THIS ON GOING INVESTIGATION** 

All persons accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in court.


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