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CHP: Man arrested after creating fake alibi in Atascadero hit-and-run

Posted at 12:44 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 15:45:17-04

The CHP says a driver who said his truck was stolen before it was involved in a hit-and-run has been taken into custody.

The initial incident happened on April 3 in Atascadero.

Officers say an Atascadero man was exiting at Traffic Way off Highway 101 when the driver of a Ford F-150 made an unsafe lane change and struck the other vehicle. At the time, witnesses reported seeing the driver of the F-150 pull over on the off-ramp, take paperwork out of the truck’s glove box, and run off toward El Camino Real.

Officers say an ID, laptop computer, and other items that belonged to Richard Lawrence Gonzalez, 38, of Creston, had been left in the truck.

However, he later contacted authorities and told them his truck had been stolen and that he was not involved in the crash.

He was not taken into custody at the time.

The CHP says it conducted an extensive investigation over the following three weeks, sorting through physical evidence and witness statements.

Investigators say they determined Gonzalez was the driver involved in the hit-and-run. They say he created a fake alibi.

The CHP says he was asked to turn himself in, but he did not do so.

On Friday, he was seen walking on Santa Lucia Road, south of Traffic Way in Atascadero.

Richard Lawrence Gonzalez
Richard Lawrence Gonzalez


CHP officers took him into custody.

He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, giving false information to a peace officer, and filing a false police report.

Bail is set at $50,000.