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Man Held in Fatal Hit-Run

April 18, 2002|LAURA LOH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Downey man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder after his car struck and killed a boy as the man was being chased by police in Downey.

Walter Larry Lego Jr., 21, was being held without bail pending his arraignment Friday, police said.

Brian Rosero, 10, of South Gate died at a local hospital about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Downey police said.

Officers said they began pursuing the sedan about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after noticing that it was being driven erratically. The car, later determined to have been stolen, did not have license plates, police said.

Investigators said the car struck the boy as he was chasing a basketball across Coldbrook Avenue.

" I hear a big thump and I see a little boy flying up in the air," said Michael Lakey, who lives in the neighborhood. Lakey said the pursuing police officer stopped immediately and tried to revive the boy.

"He was working desperately, trying to save the kid," Lakey said.

Officers said Lego drove for two blocks before abandoning the car and running away. Detectives finally found him early Wednesday at a residence in Covina.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident to determine if officers followed policy.

Meanwhile, neighbors and family members grieved for the boy. A shrine of candles, flowers and stuffed animals was placed near the spot where he died. A vigil Wednesday drew about 100 people.

"He was a very happy, very jovial boy" said Fernando Rosero, Brian's father. "He raised a fiesta. He was our little dancer."

Brian was a fourth-grader at Gauldin Elementary School and was to play youth football in the summer, his father said.

Brian's aunt, Sonia Rosero, said the boy loved to run and had been looking forward to participating in a relay race next week.

"He loved sports," she said. "He was a very active little boy."

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Times staff writer Hector Becerra contributed to this report.

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