Police and the victim of a Tempe hit-and-run crash this week made a public appeal on Thursday for information and witnesses in the case.
Justin DeValk, 21, a Mesa Community College student, appeared before reporters and TV cameras near the crash site on Broadway Road near College Avenue, his head and right arm wrapped in bandages.
"He swerved and hit me," DeValk says of the driver. "I'm just trying to figure out who he is."
The crash occurred at about 8:45 p.m. on Monday night. DeValk had been walking his black, fixie-type bicycle home from a friend's house, going eastbound in the westbound lane of traffic. It was dark, and there's no sidewalk on that side of the street. Police say DeValk was apparently committing a legal violation by walking in the roadway when a sidewalk was available on the south side of Broadway Road. DeValk says he was trying to stay as close to the curb as possible when the westbound sedan approached.
He tried unsuccessfully to jump out of the way. He doesn't recall the actual impact, just the confused stumbling afterward as he tried to continue making his way home. A bystander saw him and told him to sit down until an ambulance arrived. That's when DeValk noticed "what looked like a sausage" hanging out of his severely sliced right arm. His head had taken a pounding and was also cut in several places.
The suspect must have known the sedan hit something hard, but never stopped, police say.
Based on pieces of the vehicle found near the crash site, police experts determined it's probably a dark-colored Dodge Stratus or Chrysler Sebring made between 2001 and 2006. It will have damage to the right-side mirror and passenger side.
Anyone with information is asked to call Tempe police, (480)350-8311 or Silent Witness at (480)948-6377. Anonymous tips can also be left at silentwitness.org. A cash reward of up to $1,000 will be paid for info that leads to an arrest or indictment, police say.
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.
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