BAKERSFIELD, CA - More than a month ago, police say a truck driver took off after hitting and killing a 21-year-old skateboarder. A driver was identified and charged with hit and run, and so was the passenger.
It all started the night of February 10th. According to court documents, two men tried to steal from a local liquor store.
"When I look to his eyes, looks like stealer," said Tawfik Karin, owner of Country Corner Liquor Store.
Karin was there the night of the robbery and said he remembers much of what happened.
"He was looking for an expensive kind of liquor," said Karin.
Karin said he got suspicious when he saw a man waiting in a truck outside. "I told my worker to stand in the door," said Karin.
But, before anyone could stop him Karin said the thief ran outside with bottles in hand.
"He was the passenger and the truck was parked," said Karin. "Ready to go fast and he hear me, and he think I call the cops or something."
Moments later, Karin got bad news. "After then in five minutes, I hear they hit boy in Niles Street," said Karin.
The pedestrian killed was 21-year-old Anthony Saldana. Karin would later help police identify the suspects, the alleged passenger, 22-year-old Christian Velasquez and the alleged driver 49-year-old Jose Villa.
Karin knew both would be arrested, but what he didn't know is that both the driver and the passenger would be charged with hit and run.
"The real crime is running from the scene not the collision," said Michael Yraceburn, Supervising Deputy District Attorney.
Yraceburn said his office decides on a case by case basis, but if you're a passenger involved in a hit and run and you don't call police, you can be prosecuted.
"We all have an obligation under the vehicle code. We have to stop, sign our name and address, and render aid if necessary," said Yraceburn.
In this case, Yraceburn says, passenger Velasquez was charged because he owns the truck and was allegedly involved in the earlier robbery.