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DENVER — The Denver Police Department is investigating a hit-and-run crash that injured two people in Lower Downtown early Sunday morning. Video shows a silver Chevrolet Cobalt sedan slamming into two people at 20th and Market streets, one block southeast of Coors Field. The driver does not stop. The video below, from Victor Marquez, shows people prying open the front driver’s side door of the Chevy. The driver then peels out and accelerates quickly away from the area. A few seconds later, the video shows one of the people who was struck by the Chevy lying in the street. (Note: The video contains graphic language.)
DPD says the crash occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday when its officers were responding to a fight. Police say the two pedestrians who were struck were evaluated at a hospital and did not suffer serious injuries. During a press conference Monday, Division Chief Ron Thomas said DPD has identified a suspect. However, no one is in custody. Thomas said the driver could face vehicular assault charges. He said the department will continue investigating and will hand the investigation over to the Denver District Attorney’s Office for charging decisions. Thomas added that there were other people inside the Chevy. “There were other people in the car. And they could be witnesses, certainly. So we’ll have to talk to those individuals to determine their involvement and see what charges may or may not be appropriate,” Thomas said. Police did not mention the incident until 9:16 p.m. Sunday, when a local news reporter asked the department about the video. Thomas said DPD did not post about the incident earlier because it did not meet the criteria for alerting the public. “Certainly, I can recognize that it was a very dramatic video. Very concerning to us and, I can imagine, to the public as well. But nevertheless, it did not arise to our criteria of a notification. There was not a significant injury, there was certainly not a death. There were no road closures as a result of that. We really did not feel as though there was any continuing community concern involved in that particular incident, so that’s why no notification was made,” Thomas said. A day after the violence, the hit-and-run sparked calls for police to do more by closing full city blocks in the LoDo area ahead of “last call.” Police have been shutting down Market at 20th around 1:30 a.m. on weekends. “It’s like a herd of cattle walking across the street,” a LoDo pedestrian said on Monday, describing the crowds after bars close. “It would be nice to be able to go out super late and not worry about people flying around here,” another man, named Tim, said. Anyone with information about the driver or vehicle is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers: 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous.