GLENDALE — A 19-year-old Glendale motorist pleaded not guilty this week to hitting a car at Bel Aire Drive and Western Avenue, injuring its occupants, fleeing the crash and later reporting his car stolen, officials said.
Sarmen Mehrabi on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident and two separate counts of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing injuries, said Shiara Dávila-Morales, a Los Angeles County district attorney spokeswoman.
Mehrabi had reportedly been drinking at a relative's party Oct. 24 and later got into his black Honda Civic, allegedly drove drunk and collided just after midnight with an SUV, according to Glendale Police Department reports.
The SUV's passengers — a 46-year-old man and 45-year-old woman, both of Glendale — were taken to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where they were treated for their injuries, police officials said.
The couple later identified Mehrabi as the driver who hit them and fled, according to reports.
Mehrabi claimed he had last seen his car parked at Glenoaks Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, according to police reports, but when officers arrived at the intersection, he had already fled.
But police traced the Honda's license plate to Mehrabi's address on Lexington Street, where they found him sleeping, according to the reports.
After Mehrabi was taken into custody, he admitted to police that he was drunk when he crashed and was scared so he fled the scene, according to police reports.
"It was my first time," he told police, according to a report filed at the department. "I came to this country three years ago to study and for a better life. I don't know what happened to my life. I don't know what I did."
Mehrabi is scheduled to appear Nov. 9 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Glendale for a pretrial hearing, Dávila-Morales said. A jury trial was also set for Nov. 15, she added.