DOWNTOWN — Police are searching for a motorist who fled the scene Friday after running over a man in a wheelchair at West California Avenue and North Kenwood Street.
Witnesses said the motorist, wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, was attempting a left turn onto Kenwood Street. As the vehicle went through the unmarked crosswalk, it slammed into 46-year-old Marcel Carrion, Glendale Police Det. Mike Wenz said.
Carrion was escorting an elderly woman home from a peace vigil at East Broadway and North Brand Boulevard about 8:40 p.m. when he heard the loud honking. He could not identify the driver or the make and model of the vehicle.
"They were turning fast, and I heard the honking as they hit my wheel, sending me headfirst onto the street," said Carrion, of Glendale. "Thank god I wasn't walking. Maybe being in the chair saved me because [they] hit my wheel, my rim."
The witnesses who saw Carrion traveling east on California Avenue across Kenwood Street contacted police. The driver of the SUV, which was believed to be carrying one passenger, honked the horn "as if telling the victim to hurry up," Wenz said.
A witness told officers that Carrion was ejected from the wheelchair and left in the middle of the street.
Police said another witness chased the suspect north on Kenwood Street. The vehicle was last seen making a right turn onto West Lexington Drive toward North Glendale Avenue.
Carrion was treated at the scene for a bump on the back of his head and cuts on his elbow and thumb.
"Thank god for the people who helped me back onto my wheelchair," he said. "You feel vulnerable lying in the street. I could have been hit by another car."
Carrion said he decided to escort the woman on her motor scooter because her battery was running low. The pair regularly attend a weekly peace rally in downtown Glendale, organizing against wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America's reliance on foreign oil.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call the Glendale Police Department, (818) 548-4840, or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.