Police ask for help finding hit-and-run driver who broke Urban Bean barista's limbs [UPDATE]
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Matt Call was getting into his car when a black Jeep Grand Cherokee struck him and threw him 20 to 30 feet in the air. The car was traveling around 40 m.p.h., witnesses say, but didn't stick around to see the damage. Now police, armed with a photo of the SUV, are enlisting the public in efforts to apprehend the runaway driver.
Call, a 24-year-old local musician and barista, broke all his limbs and underwent surgery Wednesday night to have rods put in his legs, according to a Twitter update from his girlfriend. She reports that he's sedated but stable, and as of Thursday, could "wiggle and feel his toes."
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Police Department released a photo that reveals the driver's left profile and the car in question. Sgt. William Palmer said he thinks area surveillance hobbyist Jim Fiala, who we profiled in March, provided the snap. The hit-and-run happened just outside the coffee shop where Call works, Urban Bean Coffee on the corner of 24th St. and Lyndale Ave, which is smack in Fiala's territory. The shop has mobilized on its Facebook page to update concerned friends, and wrote in a comment on Thursday night that plans are in the works for an event and PayPal donation page for Call.
Police say they believe there was a man in the passenger seat at the time of the accident, too, and are asking anyone with information to call (612) 673-2981.
Here's the full-size photo of the suspect:
And a Tweet from Call's account, written by his girlfriend, describing his condition as of Thursday morning:
Matt can wiggle and feel his toes. He also gave a few thumbs up and wanted a kiss good morning. My man is doing well. -missy
-- Matt Call (@MatthewRCall) June 28, 2012
Update: We spoke with John Moravec, who was across the street at the Leaning Tower of Pizza at the time of the accident. He was turned the other way during the impact, but quickly realized everyone around him was looking at the street, and he caught the aftermath.
"I thought he was dead," Moravec says. "The guy was not moving." Moravec reports that people gathered around the injured barista, including his girlfriend and another man from inside the coffee shop, and says he's hopeful police will catch the hit-and-run driver. "I think it's great there's a photograph of his car, from that guy with crazy cameras on his house," Moravec says. "It's great to see the neighborhood mobilizing, the movement on Twitter. They just might be able to find this guy."
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