Berumen family reacts to recent arrests in Angel’s deadly hit-and-run

“It was like a weight off my chest."
Angel Berumen
Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 20:28:57-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Angel Berumen, a 16-year-old boy, was hit by a car and left on the road as he skateboarded to school. Instantly, the community came together and thanks to this outpouring support it took 11 days for law enforcement officials to arrest the driver, and three other people involved in this hit and run.

23ABC’S Vania Patino has been following the case.

Every single person she spoke to about this story repeated the same thing, "it was the community."

They responded as if this was also their child. Thanks to all the tips, and the multiple law enforcement agencies that joined forces it led to this major step in closure for the family.

“So many people, so many people, like you said, people we don’t even know put a lot into this. I think for the rest of my life I will always try to help someone out,” said Emmanuel Burleson.

While standing near Angel’s memorial, his dad Emmanuel Burleson, said the site was already there when they came back from the hospital. It meant a lot to see that initial response.

Angel’s Mother, Jasmine, shared how she’s been reading through his notebooks and connecting with some of Angel’s friends. “Seeing the devastation in these other kids. It is not even because we are parents, we are seeing these kids feel so strongly and are hurt too deeply by what happened to Angel. You relive it, you feel their pain and it is hard.”

She said so many of his friends spent hours looking for clues, sending everything to CHP, and they were not the only ones.

“This was probably the first one that I have been a part of that I was constantly receiving calls or emails from people that were saying ‘Hey, I came across this. I just want to give it to you. I don’t know if it is going to help you, but this is what we came across, so we want to give it to you,’” said CHP Officer Eric Scott.

Angel’s mother said she was trying to find a stuffed animal to put Angel’s heart recording in when she received the call that the initial arrests were made.

“It was like a weight off my chest, a weight off my shoulders. I am so grateful to them for all the hard work they did.”

Investigating those tips was not only CHP and their Central Division Investigative Unit but the Kern County District Attorney's Office also lent investigators.

On Thursday, they served a warrant at an east Bakersfield residence where evidence was found.

They arrested the driver, Juan Rodelas Ortega, along with three others Liliana Cidrojas, Anahy Gisselle Rodelas, and Osbaldo Quintero Ortega who investigators said helped Ortega hide evidence.

According to CHP the four arrested in this case all live in the same household.

“They did come together. Which is where the charge of conspiracy is, they came together to agree that ‘we are going to come together to assist you in this crime that you have committed,’” said Officer Scott.

The red Chevrolet truck involved in the crime was found at another location in southwest Bakersfield.

Although the family is happy to hear of the arrest, they know this is not yet closure.

“I think that the absolute closure will come at the end of the court proceedings, this is a major step in our journey to closure for Angel,” said Jasmine.

The driver is expected to be in court on Monday. 23ABC will be at that hearing and will bring you the latest.

In the meantime, on Feb. 6 and 7, a local restaurant is helping raise funds to help Angel's family with funeral expenses and anything else they may need.

Fresco Mexican Grill is donating 20% of all proceeds to Angel's family.

All you have to do is mention "Angel's fundraiser" when you order.

Fresco Mexican Grill is located at 3901 Niles Street.