SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man was charged Wednesday with hitting a longboarder from behind and leaving him in the road with serious injuries.
Roberto Joaguin Gutierrez, 21, had been the focus of a monthlong search. He is charged in 3rd District Court with failing to remain at the scene of a serious accident, a third-degree felony, and driving without a license, an infraction.
On Feb. 4, Austin Bryson, 25, was riding his longboard on 500 East just after 7 a.m. when he was hit from behind by a car near Harvard Avenue. The driver kept going after the crash, police say.
"Mr. Bryson sustained a number of injuries including a large open wound on the back of his head, open tibia and fibula fractures, two cracked lumbar vertebrae and scrapes to his left elbow," according to charging documents.
After searching for the car for nearly a month, Bryson started to doubt it would ever be found.Comment on this story
But on Feb. 26, he spotted a white sedan similar to the one that hit him parked right outside his window. Bryson called police who impounded the vehicle. Debris collected from the original crash scene was compared to the impounded car, and it matched, the charges state.
Police say Gutierrez had just started a new job on the day his car was found. The job was at a restaurant located next to Bryson's residence. On the day of the crash, detectives said he was going to work at another job and clocked in less than 20 minutes after hitting Bryson.
A $50,000 arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Gutierrez, who bonded out of jail after his initial arrest.
Bryson, who still has a brace on his leg, says he still has a ways to go before he is recovered.