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Hit-Run Motorist Apparently Victim of Revenge Slaying

September 23, 1987|LOUIS SAHAGUN | Times Staff Writer

San Bernardino County authorities have one suspect in custody and continued to search for two others Tuesday in what is believed to be the revenge killing of a hit-and-run driver on a remote Mojave Desert road 10 miles west of Victorville.

The man arrested Sunday night in the case, Jorge Garibay, 30, of Montclair, was being held without bail at San Bernardino County Jail on suspicion of murdering David LaRun Barr, 45, of El Mirage, said Jim Bryant, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

California Highway Patrol officers found Barr dead of a stab wound in the neck on the front seat of his car at 7:45 p.m. Sunday, about four miles north of where his vehicle struck Joseph Orosco, 50, of Chino, only minutes before, Bryant said.

Orosco was listed in good condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center on Tuesday with head injuries and bruises on his legs and arms, hospital officials said.

Witnesses said Orosco, who was one of more than 20 friends who had gathered for a barbecue in the desert, had been talking to friends on the shoulder of two-lane Sheep Creek Road at about 7:20 p.m. when Barr's vehicle "swung across the road, crossed the center divider and hit Orosco," Bryant said.

"There is an indication that Barr may have been drinking. . . . He may not have known what he did," Bryant said.

When Barr "continued on without slowing down at all," Bryant said, "some of Orosco's friends" got into at least two vehicles and gave chase.

One of the pursuing cars went out of control and spun off into the sand, Bryant said.

"A local citizen stopped and was told what happened," Bryant said. "The citizen took these people out in his own truck, and they caught up with Barr three miles down the road."

The truck driver maneuvered in front of Barr's vehicle and forced him to pull over to the shoulder of the road.

Bryant said the driver of the truck stayed behind while his two passengers approached Barr's vehicle on foot.

"It is not clear what happened next," Bryant said.

Nonetheless, based on information developed at the scene, Garibay was arrested later at the Loma Linda hospital where he was awaiting word on the condition of his friend, Bryant said. He said two other suspects in the slaying are being sought.

The truck driver who stopped to aid the chase is not among the suspects.

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