Merced police have released a photograph of a person of interest in the case of a hit-and-run crash involving a Merced police lieutenant and his wife.
Investigators say they want to speak with Luis Antonio Benitez, 35, who is known to frequent the Turlock area. Sgt. Jay Struble said it's unknown whether Benitez is responsible for the crash, although police believe he was there when it happened. "We believe he has information pertinent to the investigation," Struble said.
Benitez is described as a Latino male, 6 feet tall, 225 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a mustache.
The crash was reported Thursday on North Highway 59 near Cooper Avenue. Merced Police Lt. Tom Trindad was traveling with his wife Gilda on a motorcycle when the couple was rear-ended. Both were sent to the hospital with injuries, but have since been released.
Police say the suspect fled the scene in a light brown 2000 Dodge SUV.
Police are asking anyone with information about Benitez's whereabouts to call the Merced Police Department's Traffic Division at (209) 385-4739 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Calls are confidential, and you can remain anonymous.
-- Sun-Star staff