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Man charged in skateboarding hit-and-run

Roberto Joaquin Gutierrez (Photo: police)

(KUTV) — The man accused of driving into a skateboarder in a hit-and-run has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license on Feb. 4.

Roberto Joaquin Gutierrez, aka Roberto Valenzuela Ortega, was found when the victim, Andrew Bryson, saw the car that hit him parked in front of his own house, according to charging documents.

On the morning of Feb. 4, a male identified as Andrew Bryson was riding his skateboard northbound on 500 East, Harvard Avenue in Salt Lake County, court documents state.

Bryson was struck from behind by a vehicle, court documents state. As a result, Bryson flipped over the top of the vehicle and then hit the ground.

When he looked up, court documents state he witnessed the vehicle flee the scene going northbound. The driver did not stop to help Bryson.

Court documents state that according to Bryson, the vehicle is a pearl white sedan.

The hit-and-run victim was taken to the University of Utah Hospital in critical condition, and as a result of the crash he sustained a number of injuries, including a large open wound on the back of his head, court documents state.

Bryson also suffered open tibia and fibula fractures, two cracked lumbar vertebrae and scrapes to his left elbow, court documents state.

Court documents state that a piece of white plastic was found at the scene of the crash, and that on Feb. 26, a witness reported a parked vehicle matching the description of the suspect's vehicle with visible bumper damage.

Officers came to the vehicle and compared the plastic fragment they had from the original scene with the damaged front bumper of the Ford Fusion that the witness reported, court documents state. This fragment matched the damaged bumper of the vehicle.

Another witness told police that they witnessed the driver enter a nearby business but not exit the building, court documents state. So police spoke with the business and an employee who said that it was his white Ford Fusion outside.

Court documents state that the employee identified himself as Roberto Joaquin Gutierrez. Gutierrez told the officers that he bought the car in December and was its only user.

Gutierrez's employer provided police with time keeping records, which showed that he arrived at work at 7:17 a.m. on the day of the crash, court documents state.

The suspect admitted to officers, post-Miranda, that he did not have a driver's license, which a records check confirmed, court documents state.

Gutierrez faces a charge of failure to stop at a serious injury accident, which is a third degree felony. He also is charged with an infraction for driving without a valid licence. His bail is set to $50,000.

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