SLC hit-and-run victim finds suspect’s car in front of his home

Feb 28, 2018, 11:44 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 12:30 am

Austin Bryson

SALT LAKE CITY — Police say hit-and-run cases are rarely solved as it is, but investigators said Wednesday that they’d never seen a case solved by the victim finding the suspect’s car right in front of his home.

That’s what unfolded earlier this week, when Austin Bryson and his brother spotted a white sedan with front-end damage parked on the street in front of their apartment.

“It just showed up,” Bryson said. “My brother came over and noticed that the front bumper was put together with zip ties.”

Bryson said the car resembled what he remembered of the vehicle that hit him roughly three weeks earlier as he was longboarding near 500 East and Harvard Ave., so he called police. 

Salt Lake City Police Det. Greg Wilking said officers came out to Bryson’s apartment, located a couple blocks away from the crash site, and looked at the car.

“The pieces of the car that had been left behind at the scene—they basically fit like a puzzle,” Wilking said.

Roberto Gutierrez, 21

Wilking said investigators interviewed Roberto Gutierrez, 21, the car’s driver, and subsequently arrested him.

“I’ve never seen anything like it!” Wilking chuckled.

Gutierrez was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

Bryson still faces two more months of recovery for his severely broken leg.

“I have an open compound fracture, and I broke my tibia and my fibula,” Bryson said. 

He said he had learned from officers that Gutierrez had parked his car in front of his home and walked to his new job, which happened to be at a nearby business.

“I just blame it on karma, yeah,” Bryson said. “You leave a guy in the street with a broken leg; you gotta get what’s coming for you. It’s karma.”

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SLC hit-and-run victim finds suspect’s car in front of his home