A photo released by police of the suspected driver and passenger. Courtesy SDPD

A suspected hit-and-run driver who allegedly struck and gravely injured a bicyclist last month in the Midtown area was arrested in a shopping center parking lot in Kern County.

San Diego Police identified the suspected driver last week as Mauricio Flores and also released the name of a woman, Jessica Bailey, suspected of riding in the van with Flores.

The pair were in a 2005 Dodge Caravan with Georgia license places that struck a bicyclist around 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 on West Washington Street at India Street in the Midtown area, police said.

The victim suffered a life-threatening head injury and remains in the hospital, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In video shot by a witness and released by San Diego Police, the driver could be seen stopping after the collision and getting out of the van.

The video then showed the driver and passenger going to the injured man on the side of the road before the driver tugs the bent bicycle out from under the front of the van and sets it aside. He and the female passenger then got back into the van and drove away.

A second passenger in the van has not been identified by police and no description of the man has been disclosed.

An off-duty CHP officer who saw a flier about the collision spotted a suspicious looking van bearing CA exempt plates, typically used by state-owned vehicles, while riding his motorcycle in the Lake Isabella area over the weekend and notified the local office, CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez told the Union-Tribune.

The officer assigned to that area — roughly 35 miles northeast of Bakersfield — went looking for the van early Tuesday morning and found it in a Vons parking lot, this time with Vermont license places, Rodriguez told the newspaper. With the assistance of Kern County sheriff’s deputies, the officer located Flores and Bailey nearby and arrested them.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.