‘Hit-and-run’ suspect claims that he was not the driver — police

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 09,2024 - 02:19 PM

Hit-and-run Cebu. ‘Hit-and-run’ suspect claims that he was not the driver. In photo Police Colonel Ireneo B. Dalogdog, City Director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), talks about the process of their investigation on the hit-and-run of a young basketball player in a press conference. | Mark Bandolon

Police Colonel Ireneo B. Dalogdog, City Director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) narrated during a press conference on Friday, Feb. 9, the process of their investigation on the hit-and-run of a young basketball player. | Mark Bandolon

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The suspect behind the hit-and-run incident in Cebu City on Sunday, February 4, 2024, claimed that a female companion was the person driving when the basketball player was killed.

Twenty three-year-old Jeslar Uriel Larumbe lost his life in a hit-and-run incident near the Redemptorist church at around 6 a.m. on Sunday.

READ: Road rage led to hit-and-run of local basketball player – Police

Extensive hit-and-run probe

After an extensive investigation, police in Cebu City found that multiple pieces of evidence pointed to one prime suspect.

The suspect was identified as Aaron Karl Tan, the owner of the gray SUV that was previously found to be similar to the vehicle in the CCTV footage of the incident.

Police Colonel Ireneo B. Dalogdog, city director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said during a press conference on Friday, February 9, that the incident was a case of road rage.

READ: Jeslar Uriel Larumbe: Hit-and-run victim was an MVP on and off the court

Hit and run suspect’s claim

Tan initially allegedly told police that he did not use the vehicle and that he stayed inside his house in Barangay Guadalupe on the weekend of the incident.

This statement, however, coincided with what he told local media that he stepped out of his residence at around 7 a.m. on Sunday to transfer his vehicle that was parked near the Guadalupe Police Station to its usual parking area.

He voluntarily gave his SUV to police for investigation and expressed his willingness to cooperate to clear his name.

According to Dalogdog, Tan, however, allegedly confessed to being inside the SUV during the hit-and-run incident when he was further questioned by personnel of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

Suspect’s alleged confession

He also allegedly admitted that he previously had three other hit-and-run cases, which the police would be looking into.

According to Dalogdog, Tan admitted to police that he drove his SUV on Sunday and that he was inside the car when the hit-and-run happened.

However, he claimed that a female companion was the one behind the wheels since they reached Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue.

While he was allegedly on the passenger seat, Tan said that it was his companion who switched on the sirens and blinkers.

The woman allegedly only laughed when asked why she did so and Tan went back to sleep.

A few minutes later, he woke up again when he heard a crash. However, he brushed it off after his companion said that it was nothing.

According to Tan, he then dropped off the woman along A. Borromeo street before heading back home and parking his car along the Cabajar Street.

READ: How to prevent road rage: Drivers say patience, knowledge of safety rules are important

Verified suspect’s claims

After the suspect made these statements, Dalogdog said that they checked CCTV footage around the area he mentioned to verify his claims.

However, CCTV did not show the SUV stopping anywhere and no proof was found that Tan was accompanied by someone at the time of the incident.

Furthermore, an eyewitness claimed to have seen Tan behind the wheel when the incident happened.

READ: Road rage: Deadly encounters that can be avoided

Witness saw suspect stepping out of vehicle

According to Dalogdog, another witness claimed to have seen Tan stepping out of his vehicle in his parking area.

Despite Tan’s denial of being the person responsible for the hit-and-run incident, sufficient evidence gathered against him prompted police to file charges of murder against him.

The case was filed at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday afternoon, February 8.

Dalogdog also emphasized that the suspect was not a VIP, contrary to earlier speculations due to the VIP blinkers found on his vehicle.

READ: Road courtesy: the best way to avoid road rage

Not a VIP, but a violator

He said that Tan was not a VIP but a violator of the prohibition of using blinkers for unauthorized individuals.

As of this writing, Tan remains free while police are waiting for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him.

However, Dalogdog said that they had requested for a hold departure order on Tan to make sure that he would not leave the city.

He added that a forensic expert would be examining the involved vehicles in order to see if they could get more pieces of evidence, possibly blood stains.

According to Dalogdog, they have an airtight case against Tan because of the various pieces of evidence that point to him as the person responsible for Larumbe’s death.

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TAGS: hit and run, Larumbe

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