HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford police released recording Friday of two 911 calls made shortly after a May 30 hit-and-run that prompted the city's police chief to declare the city lost its "moral compass."
The recordings were released two days after police Chief Daryl Roberts publicized a survelliance video of a car striking 78-year-old Angel Arce Torres and leaving him paralyzed in the busy street.
The video showed cars zooming past as bystanders stared at Torres from the sidewalk, and angered Roberts because nobody stepped forward to help. "We no longer have a moral compass," he said then.
The chief's comments touched off soul-searching and anger in Hartford, with one community leader calling the scene "despicable" and neighbors complaining that Torres was treated inhumanely. He was hospitalized Friday in critical condition.
City officials later acknowledged that police received four 911 calls immediately after the incident, and release portions of two calls on Friday.
"Send an ambulance quick, quick, quick, he's bleeding hard," one man implores a 911 operator.
Torres, a retired forklift operator, was struck in the two-way street after buying milk at a grocery. The video shows a tan Toyota and a dark Honda that is apparently chasing it veer across the center line, and Torres is struck by the Honda. Both cars then dart down a side street.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Friday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the motorists involved in that accident. she also authorized a similar award for a hit-and-run in New Haven that killed 11-year-old girl Gabrielle Lee on Wednesday.
"These terrible crimes cannot be allowed to go unsolved," Rell said in a statement. "The sorrow and anguish of the families is compounded by the fact that so far no one has taken responsibility for their actions."