Yellow Alert not issued in hit and run

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 21:56:15-05

A hit and run incident early Wednesday morning had all of the criteria for law enforcement to issue a Yellow Alert, but it was not issued.

The new law went into effect on January 1, 2016 giving law enforcement the opportunity to issue a Yellow Alert, which is similar to an Amber Alert, but created for hit and runs.

The alert would display important information on signs along freeways throughout California to help find the driver who fled a scene.  

Assembly member Mike Gatto led the way for the Yellow Alert. 

"This is a tremendous new tool that will allow local law enforcement catch hit and run perpetrators and they should put it to good use," said Gatto.  

In order to issue an alert the hit and run must meet certain criteria. The victim has to have serious bodily harm or be killed and law enforcement must have a partial or full license plate number and the make of the vehicle or know the suspect's identity. 

Gatto said he hopes Yellow Alerts will ultimately lead to less hit and run incidents in the future.

"It's always been my opinion that the way we're going to reduce hit and run incidents in California is by having a few high profile prosecutions," Gatto said. "And the only way you can prosecute someone is to catch them. 

The hit and run at Gosford Rd and White Lane met all of the criteria for a yellow alert, but officials still did not use 

“They had some conflicting information from people at the houses as to whether or not the suspect was still there, whether or not the suspect had fled in another vehicle and which vehicle he may have fled. So that’s the reason we didn’t put out a yellow alert. We didn’t want to put out inaccurate information," said Sgt. Gary Carruesco with the Bakersfield Police Department.

Sgt. Carruesco said by the time officials gathered all of the accurate information, the suspect had already turned himself in to police. 

Police said Saul Ramirez, 34, was booked into jail for felony DUI and felony hit and run.

According to police the victim remained in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.