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Family-led 'detective squad' helps track down Ocean Beach hit-and-run suspect

Family-led 'detective squad' helps police track down Ocean Beach hit-and-run suspect
Posted at 5:06 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 21:53:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The legal case has begun for an alleged Ocean Beach hit-and-run driver tracked down by a group of "citizen detectives."

“I'm supposed to start college. He took everything from me,” said Alex Ash.

That was 17-year-old Alex in March, from his hospital bed, speaking via Zoom after his second surgery.

On a Friday night, Alex was wrapping up a ride on his E-bike on Catalina Blvd, approaching Narragansett, waiting to turn left.

In the surveillance video, you can see a small light from the E-bike. Moments later, an SUV enters the frame, before striking Alex and taking off.

“It's every parent's worst nightmare. Your kid was hit by a car,” said Ash.

Tests showed Alex fractured his pelvis in 3 places. His leg was jammed into his hip bone. Internal bleeding in his bladder was life-threatening. His first surgery saved his life.

As he began his recovery, his family went to work, in search of the SUV, believed to be a black Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“It was a community-wide detective squad,” said Ash.

Ash says loved ones, friends, and acquaintances posted on social media, knocked on doors, found surveillance video, and chased down sightings.

In all, Ash and his detectives checked out about a dozen homes where dark SUVs with damage were spotted, sometimes staking out the place, and sometimes returning several times.

Less than a week after the incident came a tip from a neighbor on the Nextdoor app.

“I jumped in my car. I staked out the car, and documented it,” said Ash.

He says that led him to a damaged Jeep Grand Cherokee, helping police make an arrest.

“When Alex heard that he’d been caught, he was relieved. It was one less thing to worry about, so he could focus fully on his recovery and know that justice was going to be done,” said Ash.

Police arrested 32-year-old Kendall Colosimo, who has pleaded not guilty to felony hit-and-run charges.

Meanwhile, Alex is back home and recovering, but doctors say he could suffer long-term hip and arthritis issues.