Update: Last week, we told you about a strange hit-and-run case in which the driver who struck a teen briefly picked her up before dropping her at a 7-Eleven and speeding off; see previous coverage below. Initial debate centered on whether the guy was being Good Samaritan of a sort, but that's not reflected in the allegations against William Elliott, the man police believe was at the wheel. Among possible allegations against him is second-degree kidnapping.
At around 6 a.m. on December 6, as we reported earlier, a fourteen-year-old girl was trying to cross East Colfax at Laredo Street when she was hit by a vehicle. Instead of immediately hitting the gas, the driver stopped, put the injured girl into his car, then started east on Colfax -- after which he executed two U-turns before heading back to the 7-Eleven near where the accident took place. There, the girl, who suffered scrapes and abrasions in the incident, got out in the parking lot and he vamoosed.
Initially, Aurora police didn't think the driver was planning to hurt the girl any more than he already had. In an interview with 9News, department spokesman Officer Frank Fania said, "The suspect didn't make any threats, really didn't make any statements, never touched her, harmed her, threatened her in any way. It appears that he truly was trying to get her help and maybe panicked and fortunately brought her right back to the 7-Eleven. But then he drove off, which is still a crime."
With that in mind, the APD returned to the scene of the accident the following morning and managed to track down a witness who provided a license plate number for the car that hit the girl. Investigators soon traced it to a nearby address, but the vehicle wasn't there. However, after several return trips, they spotted it and set up a surveillance operation -- and yesterday morning about this time, Elliott, eighteen, was seen climbing into it. He was promptly arrested and the car was towed away as evidence.
Elliott was transported to the Arapahoe County Jail, where he was held on suspicion of what are referred to as "traffic-related charges," including driving without a license or proof of insurance. But he's also facing a possible second-degree-kidnapping count, even though the amount of time the girl was in his car appears to have been around a minute or so.
Will Arapahoe County prosecutors go forward with the kidnapping accusation, if only to pressure Elliott to plead guilty on other counts? We'll see. But for future reference, one's Good Samaritan reputation isn't enhanced by leaving the scene.
Look below to see a larger version of Elliott's mug shot, a Fox31 report and his booking sheet, followed by our previous coverage.
Original post, 2:59 p.m. December 7: Right now, Aurora police officers are looking for a hit-and-run driver -- albeit one who delayed the "run" part of the equation in a highly unusual way.
The man allegedly smacked into a fourteen-year-old girl in Aurora, then picked her up and took her to what he apparently considered to be a safe place (a 7-Eleven) before vanishing.
Just after 6 a.m. yesterday morning, according to the Aurora Police Department, the girl was attempting to cross East Colfax at Laredo Street when she was hit by a car.
Rather than immediately rabbiting, the driver stopped his car, picked up the girl by her coat and put her into his car, climbed back behind the wheel and drove east on Colfax before executing a U-turn. Then he changed his mind about his direction again, U-turning a second time and pulling into the parking lot of a nearby 7-Eleven, on the corner of the intersection where the accident took place. At that point, the girl, who suffered scrapes and abrasions in the incident, got out of the car and he drove away.
The driver's reasons for taking the girl for a mini-spin show no evidence of being nefarious. As APD public information officer Frank Fania told 9News, "The suspect didn't make any threats, really didn't make any statements, never touched her, harmed her, threatened her in any way. It appears that he truly was trying to get her help and maybe panicked and fortunately brought her right back to the 7-Eleven. But then he drove off, which is still a crime."
As such, the APD is on the lookout for a man described as a "skinny" African-American male with short dreadlocks. The car, for its part, was a dark-colored sedan that may have been caught in surveillance footage from the area. Cops are also interested in chatting with a heavyset white man who was sitting at a nearby bus stop when the weird scene went down.
Those with info about the case are encouraged to phone Detective Christine Hurley at 303-739-6113, Sergeant Joe Young at 303-739-6093 or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). Look below to see a 9News report, followed by an interactive graphic of the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Dan Peterson, R.I.P.: Remembering hit-and-run victim who elevated bike-safety concerns."