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Hit-and-run suspect is arrested in Mexico City

July 19, 2007|Ari B. Bloomekatz | Times Staff Writer

U.S. marshals arrested a Glendale man in Mexico City on Wednesday in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed a 24-year-old woman. Ara Grigoryan, 20, was taken into custody when he tried to board a flight to Spain, authorities said. He is wanted in connection with the July 10 death of Elizabeth Sandoval of Glendale.

Grigoryan had fled to Mexico City and hoped to fly to Europe, said John Balian, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department. But Grigoryan's travel papers were not in order and authorities became suspicious, Balian said.

"He didn't have the proper documents to leave the country," Balian said. "He was trying to go to Madrid."

Grigoryan was escorted by marshals back to Los Angeles. He is being held at Glendale city jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

The black Mercedes-Benz authorities believe was involved in the accident was found Saturday near a Van Nuys auto body shop, Balian said. The car's license plates had been removed and the front and passenger sides repaired.

Sandoval was struck by the car about 9:45 p.m. while she was walking on Glendale Avenue near Windsor Road, Balian said. Her body was thrown at least 75 feet, he said.

"The pedestrians were crossing on a red light, so traffic did have the right of way," Balian said at the time of the accident. "However, it is a crime to commit a hit-and-run, and the motorist left the scene."

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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