A $100,000 reward has been offered for information that could lead to the arrest of the person involved in a hit-and-run crash that left a 23-year-old UCLA film school graduate dead in the Pacific Palisades in December.
David Pregerson was killed around 3 a.m. on Dec. 27 while walking along Chautauqua Boulevard.
"In a story that is far too common for Los Angeles, the perpetrator who hit him drove off, did not render aid, did not call authorities, did not identify him or herself and did not help in any way," LA City Councilman Mike Bonin said.
The LA City Council set up A $50,000 reward offer Wednesday after the victim’s father and grandfather, both prominent judges, appeared before the council asking for help. The victim's family is also offering $50,000, bring the reward total to $100,000.
"I've been a federal judge for 17 years and I'm used to dealing with a lot of tragedies and a lot of sad things, and I find myself at a loss for words when something like this strikes so close to home," US District Court Judge Dean Pregerson said. "I think there are parents in that community that know what happened, I think there are neighbors who saw kids wash cars, or have very strong suspicions about who was involved."
Police believe the person responsible for the crash may live near the crime scene.
"This is three o'clock in the morning, it’s a residential street so it would be somebody who is likely from that neighborhood," LAPD Lt. John Radtke said.
The LAPD estimates that there are 20,000 hit-and-run cases every year, most of which are property crimes.
Currently, the penalty for driving under the influence is greater than that of leaving the scene of a crime, which is why officials believe that some drunk drivers may choose to flee. Assemblyman Mike Gatto is working on a bill that would implement tougher punishment for hit-and-run drivers.