Originally posted at 5:46 p.m. May 6, 2014. Edited with new details.
A 20-year-old man was booked on suspicion of murder today in the death of Los Angeles police Officer Roberto C. Sanchez, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in the Harbor City area on Saturday.
Mynor Enrique Varela of Los Angeles, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the SUV that collided with the officer's patrol car at Anaheim and Senator streets last Saturday, was arrested about 1 p.m. He was being held without bail.
Varela allegedly left the crash scene, but was taken into custody later that day along with another person who ended up being held on a parole violation, said Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andy Smith.
Smith said that the Los Angeles Police Department would not make further comment because the case is still under investigation.
"It will be up to the district attorney to determine what the charges will be," he said.
Sanchez's partner, Officer Richard Medina, was released from the hospital on Sunday and was at home recovering. He suffered a broken jaw and other injuries in the crash.
Sanchez, 32, was the third LAPD officer to die in wrecks in a two-month period. In March, an officer was killed when an out-of-control truck struck his patrol car on steep Loma Vista Drive and, in April, a motorcycle officer was killed when he was struck from behind by an alleged drugged driver and pinned against the vehicle in front of him.
According to Smith, Sanchez and Medina were in pursuit of a Chevrolet Camaro whose driver committed a traffic violation. Both vehicles were traveling east on Anaheim Street and made U-turns, at which point the patrol car was struck on the driver's side by the SUV, which also had been heading east on Anaheim Street.
It was unclear if the cruiser's emergency lights and siren were on. Medina used his cellphone to call for help, because the car was so damaged the radio in it was unusable, according to officers at the scene.
Donation accounts have been set up for each officer at the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 10188, Van Nuys, CA 91410. Donations should be sent with checks made payable either to "Blue Ribbon Trust for Roberto Sanchez" or "Blue Ribbon Trust for Richard Medina."
Funeral arrangements for Sanchez are pending.
--City News Service