Man accused in hit-and-run, cover-up; 1 person hurt

A Grand Junction man was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion that he crashed his vehicle into a parked car and injured a passenger in his vehicle, then drove from the scene and tried to cover up the accident by reporting his car stolen.

Johnathan Lee Rizor, 21, 2851 Texas Ave., was taken into custody at an apartment building at 445 Chipeta Ave. He was booked into the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of felony counts of tampering with evidence and conspiring to commit a felony crime, and lesser counts of hit-and-run with injury, careless driving and false reporting to authorities.

A woman who was riding in Rizor’s car was injured and taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, the affidavit said.

Grand Junction police received a report just after midnight Friday that a dark SUV slammed into a parked vehicle at 315 Chipeta Ave. and was driven from the scene with heavy front-end damage. About 40 minutes later, Rizor reported his dark blue 1993 GMC Jimmy stolen, according to an arrest affidavit.

Police said their investigation revealed Rizor was driving the vehicle when it hit the other vehicle, then drove to 445 Chipeta Ave. and conspired to have the vehicle moved to 2881 North Ave.

The person who moved the vehicle returned the keys to Rizor, who threw them into a trash can in an apartment at 445 Chipeta Ave. An officer found Rizor’s vehicle on North Avenue just before 3 a.m., then located the keys inside the apartment’s trash can, the affidavit said.

Police didn’t identify the woman who moved the vehicle for Rizor. Sgt. Pete Chapola said the woman didn’t know Rizor had reported the vehicle stolen and, as a result, won’t face criminal charges.


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