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Monterey Park police arrest minivan driver who dragged elderly man for about half a mile

Monterey Park police said Wednesday they had arrested the driver of a minivan accused of killing an elderly pedestrian in a January hit-and-run in which the victim's body was dragged nearly half a mile.

Investigators served an arrest warrant just before 9 a.m. on 33-year-old Cecilia Morales DeToledo, Monterey Park Police Sgt. Brent Archibald said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney filed felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor unlicensed driver charges against DeToledo, Archibald said.

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DeToledo's arrest concluded a three-month investigation and brought relief to the family of the victim, Kwai-Ling Hong, 80.

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FOR THE RECORD

3:32 p.m. April 21: A previous version of this post said Kwai-Ling Hong was 82. He was 80.

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"We're happy that this finally happened, but it's just one step," said the victim's son, George Hong, 41. "There's still a trial left."

Investigators said the accident occurred about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 in the 600 block of Hathaway Avenue in Monterey Park.

Police said the driver was making a left turn to go south on Hathaway Avenue when she struck the victim.

DeToledo kept driving and dragged Hong for nearly half a mile to her home in the 2400 block of Wetherhead Drive in neighboring Alhambra, where she called 911, police said.

George Hong said Det. Robert Julian told him that at least two children were inside the van when the incident occurred. 

In a February interview with the Alhambra Source, DeToledo said she was driving with a driver's permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles. She had obtained the permit in September 2015. She told the paper she didn't know she had struck Kwai-Ling Hong. 

"I parked my car and as I walk to my door I noticed there was someone in the street and another man yelling in my direction," she told the paper. "I didn't know what was going on."

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George Hong said investigators confirmed to him that DeToledo had a driver's permit only at the time of the incident. 

DeToledo is free on $50,000 bail. Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday at Alhambra Municipal Court, arrest records show.

For more Southern California news, follow @latvives 

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