Driver of Vehicle That Hit 2 in Crowd Sought

Los Angeles police on Thursday were looking for the driver of a mini-truck that plowed through a crowd of car hobbyists in Reseda, seriously injuring two youths.

Richard Reyes, 21, of Canoga Park and a 16-year-old from Reseda each suffered a broken ankle and cuts, Detective Harry Hollywood said. Police did not identify the teen-ager. The pair were crossing Bassett Street, west of Reseda Boulevard, about 10:30 p.m. when they were struck by a gold or bronze mini-truck adorned with a mural, police reports said.

Hollywood said witnesses gave conflicting accounts of what happened, some describing the hit-and-run incident as an accident and others calling it intentional.

A witness interviewed by The Times, who asked not to be named, said he believed the truck's driver was trying to escape the crowd, which he described as a peaceful group that was besieged by gang members Wednesday. The gang members, some armed with guns, had begun shaking and hitting the truck when it accelerated and turned from Reseda Boulevard onto Bassett Street, the witness said.

The neighborhood is known as an informal meeting place each Wednesday night for car enthusiasts who show off their highly decorated cars, mini-trucks and motorcycles.

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