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Man Killed in Altercation at Recycling Center

September 06, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A 65-year-old man died after being run over by a van while trying to stop the driver from stealing a bag of empty aluminum cans, authorities said.

Sheng Zhang and his wife, Lan Zhang, were outside a Winnetka recycling center about 8:30 a.m. Saturday waiting for it to open, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Sheng Zhang set down their plastic bag full of cans and a man ran up and snatched it, said Officer Don Cox, an LAPD spokesman.

The man, believed to be in his 30s, ran to his van, tossed the bag inside and began to drive off when Sheng Zhang attempted to stop him by opening the driver's-side door.

As the van accelerated, Zhang held onto the side mirror for a short distance, then lost his grip, police said.

The van ran over Zhang, and the driver did not stop, police said. He was hospitalized in critical condition and died several hours later.

Police described the van as a white 1974 Chevrolet with a ladder on the rear door and California license plate number IEJL623.

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