TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police say they are looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck a man driving a motor scooter in front of a group of people.
“Right when it happened, I just started immediately saying goodbyes,” said Jonathan Fitzcharles. “I was laying there on the ground, I knew I had just been hit by a car.”
The Tampa Police Department said the incident happened on Oct. 12 at the intersection of North 15th Street and East 26th Avenue at about 4:41 p.m., just outside of Ybor Grocery.
“Everyone who came up on the scene just said, ‘Do not move,'” Fitzcharles recalled. “They said, ‘You cannot move. Don’t even try.'”
Fitzcharles said he just moved to Ybor City last month, and took his moped around town whenever he could, since he had just come from the northern states.
“I saw a car to my left going pretty fast,” Fitzcharles said. “I said to myself, ‘There’s a stop sign there, we’re good.'”
By the time he realized he was going to get hit, he said all he could do was brace for impact.
“That was very hard, because you’re just thinking to yourself, I mean, that’s what I was screaming at the scene was, ‘Am I going to die?'” Fitzcharles said. “Like, just somebody tell me, am I going to die, yes or no.”
Surveillance video showed the driver hit the man on the scooter with what is believed to be a gold Toyota Rav 4. The driver was described as a Black woman whose approximately 5 feet 6 inches, 160 pounds with long black braids. She was wearing a black T-shirt with white writing and blue jeans.
The video showed the driver leaving her vehicle and looking at the victim before getting back into the SUV and driving off 27 seconds later at a high speed.
Fitzcharles said their eyes met.
“The way they looked at me and just their reaction,” Fitzcharles remembered. “There were people videotaping me saying I was going to die, and this person really got up and just had no emotion.”
“I’ve never been one to hold grudges,” Fitzcharles explained. “I know what happened is awful, I know it’s just unthinkable that you could look at somebody in the eyes, see the pain, and just the fear.”
Investigators ask anyone with information on this case to call them at 813-231-6130 or contact Crimestoppers of Tampa Bay.