Huntington Beach

Minor arrested in Huntington Beach hit-and-run crashes thought to be intentional

The unnamed suspect was booked into the Orange County Juvenile Hall on one count of homicide and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon

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A minor has been arrested in a series of hit-and-run crashes in Huntington Beach that included one death and which police believe were intentional.

The Huntington Beach Police Department said the youth, between 14 and 18 years old, was arrested around 9 p.m. Tuesday within the city. One of the crashes claimed the life of 70-year-old Steven Gonzales, according to the police department.

“I would like to commend the detectives who investigated these terrible crimes for their tireless work in apprehending a dangerous suspect,” HBPD Chief Eric Parra said in written statement. “I would also like to thank the public for their tips and support as we searched for the perpetrator. The safety of our City is our top priority, and I want to reassure the community that they are safe.”

The police department said the investigation began on the 6000 block of Warner Avenue on Tuesday. Investigators tracked down the suspect’s car and eventually arrested him.

“Our detectives located the vehicle involved, which is a Toyota Camry, black in color, with significant damage to the passenger bumper side," said Jessica Cuchilla, a police department spokeswoman.

The unnamed suspect was booked into the Orange County Juvenile Hall on one count of homicide and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The HBPD said that officers responded Sunday night to three calls of cyclists being hit by a driver within a half-mile radius and within the span of 45 minutes.

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“Based on the interviews conducted today, our detectives do believe they are related,” Cuchilla said at the time.

Investigators said Gonzales was the second person targeted by the driver. He died after being hit near Heil Avenue and Springdale Street. The other two cyclists suffered minor injuries, the police department said.

The investigation is ongoing, and police ask that anyone with information contact the HBPD WeTip Hotline at 714-375-5066. Anonymous tips can be submitted by dialing OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227).

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