Santa Rosa man arrested in hit-and-run that injured 7-year-old girl
Hazel Conzet wore a pair of cat ears and held tight her blue stuffed kitty, Kiki, named after a line in the Drake song she was singing Tuesday evening outside her Santa Rosa house. The 7-year-old stopped to cover her ears, the real ones, when her mom, Candace, started talking about the crash and the arrest they didn’t think would come.
Just over 72 hours earlier, Hazel was hit by a car in the street near their home on Louis Krohn Drive. She was running to her cousin’s house with her brother and a friend from their neighborhood off Sebastopol Road. She was about halfway across when a black sedan swung around a corner, striking Hazel on the driver’s front side and sending her flying about 10 feet before she came to a stop nearly underneath a parked SUV.
Somehow, Hazel bounced right up and kept running.
The driver didn’t stick around, but Santa Rosa police said Tuesday they arrested a suspect: Dominick Weaver, 29, of Santa Rosa. Police say they found him hiding in an upstairs bedroom of a home with the black BMW in question parked nearby. Weaver was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and for outstanding warrants related to previous cases.
A security camera from a nearby house captured the crash and its aftermath Saturday, showing the driver beginning to leave. Hazel was taken to the hospital by an ambulance immediately after the crash. She checked out with bruises and scrapes and was back at school Tuesday.
She still gets upset when the crash is discussed — and that happened more than once Tuesday, including in front of some television cameras. But Hazel was happy and well enough Tuesday evening to trade kisses with her mom and to talk a little about the experience.
“I’m sad because the guy hit me, but I’m happy because he went to —” she paused — “jail.”
Conzet was in the shower at the time of the crash. By the time somebody alerted her that Hazel had been hit, her daughter was already in an ambulance with her father, Ryan Jurek. Conzet recalled twin pangs: learning that the crash was real, and Jurek telling her how his heart just dropped when he heard what happened. Hazel’s young cousin was the one to relay the news.
“Are you serious right now?” Conzet remembers saying to herself.
She said her kids are allowed to play by themselves in the quiet neighborhood, which features some green space and a dog park not far from home. She said she “always” talks to her children about the importance of looking both ways before crossing streets.
“It’s a nice neighborhood,” she said. “I wouldn’t expect somebody to just hit my kid and run.”
Conzet shared numerous posts about the crash to her own Facebook page and wonders if that helped lead to Weaver’s arrest. Police first reported the hit-and-run on Sunday in an appeal for the public’s help identifying the driver.
Police credited tips from the public, including one involving surveillance video of Weaver allegedly trying to hide a black BMW after the crash. Officers also reviewed social media posts they said depicted Weaver driving the vehicle in question.
Hazel cried when she saw the video of the crash. Conzet said a police officer was the first to tell her that a security camera had caught the crash. She has seen it reduced to the moment of impact, played on repeat on social media.
She hears a sickening sound — “Bam. Bam. Bam.” — every time she sees the footage.
When Hazel was in the hospital, she brought her pepperoni pizza, juice and other treats. That memory brings a smile back to Hazel’s face.
Tuesday night she nuzzled her mom one last time before scampering back inside their home, still clutching Kiki, to prepare for bed and another day of school.
“She didn’t miss a beat,” Conzet said. “That girl was on it.”
You can reach Staff Writer Will Schmitt at 707-521-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @wsreports.