A bizarre series of events unfolded in Hawthorne after a deadly hit-and-run that ended with a man beaten by a mob. Police reporter Larry Altman from the Daily Breeze newspaper, who initially wrote about the sequence of crimes, tells KPCC's Susanne Whatley the strange story.
The series of events began Wednesday when a minivan struck a man who was jaywalking on Crenshaw Boulevard. The driver of the minivan fled the scene. The man who was struck was then run over by a second car, whose driver also failed to stop.
Bystanders began offering help to the injured man, but a woman who rushed to the man's aid was hit by another car that was heading southbound on Crenshaw. That driver did stop, but the crowd attacked him and stole his cellphone. The driver then fled, fearing for his safety. He later called police and returned to the scene.
The initial victim of the hit-and-run died at a hospital. The woman who was hit suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Police arrested one man who allegedly stole the driver's cell phone. Investigators are still looking for the first car that struck the man. Hawthorne police Sgt. Eric Lane says it's a late-1990s or early-2000 model Ford Windstar that may have a damaged front grill and damage to the passenger-side mirror.