Two rewards totaling $100,000 were offered Wednesday as Los Angeles police investigators continue searching for a hit-and-run driver who fatally struck the son of a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, the victim's father, appealed to his neighbors to come forward with information about the crime, which occurred Dec. 27. Standing with investigators, he also called on the perpetrator to surrender, saying he and his wife are "not looking for blood."
"We are prepared to be compassionate. We are prepared to urge understanding. But only if you come forward," Pregerson said. "If the resources of the Los Angeles Police Department, our family and friends find you, and you have turned down the opportunity to do the right thing, then I will feel just the opposite."
The City Council voted unanimously to offer a $50,000 reward in the case. Pregerson's family has offered an additional $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, said David Graham-Caso, spokesman for Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the area where the accident occurred.
David Pregerson, 23, was hit by a vehicle at 3 a.m. Dec. 27 as he was walking on Chautauqua Boulevard north of Borgos Place. The driver continued heading southbound and did not stop to render aid, according to city officials. David Pregerson was transported to a hospital and died from his injuries four days later.
Bonin described David Pregerson as a “promising filmmaker” struck down by someone who “fled in the dark of night.” The case has been so hard to solve, Bonin said, that it has been turned over to the LAPD's Robbery Homicide Division.
A police investigator said a Volvo, as well as several other cars, were driving in the area at the time of the accident. The suspect probably lives in the area, said LAPD Lt. John Radtke.
“We do believe it's somebody from the Palisades community just simply because of the nature of the incident,” he said. “It was 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s a residential street. So it would be somebody that’s likely from that neighborhood.”