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Fatal hit-run follows a confrontation in O.C.

May 04, 2008|David Pierson | Times Staff Writer

A 28-year-old man died early Saturday after he was run down on the street by a man he had asked moments earlier to stop urinating in public, authorities said.

Richard Zarate, 28, of Oxnard was leaving a bar in unincorporated Orange County near Anaheim with his girlfriend when he argued with a man about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. Zarate told the man, who was urinating against a wall outside Loffler's Sports Bar and Grille, to stop what he was doing out of respect for women passing by, Amormino said.

After heated words, Zarate and his girlfriend walked toward their car near Regal Avenue and Mac Street. As they crossed the street, a car driven by the man Zarate argued with turned the corner and drove at the couple, Amormino said.

Zarate was struck and dragged under the car for 75 yards. When he came loose, the driver made a U-turn and ran over Zarate a second time, authorities said.

Zarate's girlfriend was hit during the initial attack and was cut and bruised, Amormino said.

Witnesses described the driver as in his 20s and the car as a light brown, newer-model Honda Accord with chrome wheels. A female and a male passenger were also seen in the car. The license plate included either 1G or 1Q, Amormino said.

Zarate died about 6 a.m. Saturday at a hospital, Amormino said. His girlfriend was treated and released Saturday, he said.

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david.pierson@latimes.com

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