Denver police release images in fatal car-scooter crash

DENVER (AP) — Denver police on Tuesday asked the public for help identifying people seen in a car suspected of hitting and killing a man who was riding an electric scooter downtown last month.

The damaged Chevrolet Cobalt suspected of hitting and killing Chris Patton, 26, of Los Angeles on Sept. 7, was found by police Thursday, Sgt. Stephanie Linkus said. Evidence found inside led investigators to find surveillance images of the car at a convenience store less than 24 hours before the crash. Four people — a white woman, a white man and two Black males — are seen leaving the car and entering the store. Another surveillance video shows the car stopped in a nearby alley about 15 minutes before the crash. Three people approach the car, one of them opens the front passenger door and points before they walk away and the car drives away.

The car appeared to accelerate before hitting him, leading his family to suspect that he may have been targeted, the family’s lawyer Qusair Mohamedbhai said. Patton, a Black man, was wearing a Black Lives Matter mask at the time of the crash. The family has urged police to consider that Patton was hit because of his race. The race of the driver is not known, Mohamedbhai said.

Linkus said the investigation has just started with the discovery of the car and police have not ruled anything out yet. She said investigators would work with the department's bias-motivated crime team if the evidence warranted it.

Patton was visiting Denver for the first time and riding scooters with his brother and three friends during what had been the “best night of their lives" when he was killed, according to Mohamedbhai. His friend, Sachal Jogi, was also hit and seriously injured.