Suspect identified in hit-and-run incident on north Siesta bridge

Work on the north Siesta bridge is expected to be completed by Oct. 16. Photo by Rachel Hackney

Sarasota Police Department detectives have identified a vehicle that might have been involved in the hit-and-run incident on the north Siesta bridge on Aug. 1, Capt. Paul Sutton told The Sarasota News Leader Aug. 9.

“We have identified a suspect,” Sutton said, adding that evidence still was being collected in the case.

An arrest could be possible within the next couple of days, Sutton said. “We have identified a suspect.”

Sutton added, “There have been extremely valuable leads that have been generated” from news media accounts of the incident.

About 2:20 a.m. Aug. 1, the Police Department reported, a burgundy four-door Lexus came speeding onto the north bridge, where rehabilitation of the structures has been under way since June 5.

After striking barrels used to block off one lane for the construction work, the report said, the vehicle narrowly missed two of the contractor’s employees. One of them, 60-year-old Larry Norris, jumped over the bridge railing to avoid being hit by the car, the police said. He was reported to have fallen 15 feet to the ground.

Norris suffered broken bones and underwent surgery at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sutton said. Norris “is expected to recover from his injuries,” Sutton told the News Leader on Aug. 9.

A federal medical privacy law prevented him from saying anything further about Norris’ condition, Sutton said.

The Lexus last was seen heading onto Midnight Pass Road, from the intersection with Higel Avenue, according to the police report. It was described as having a barrel wedged under its front end, Sutton said last week.

“We think it has front-end damage and passenger-side damage,” he added at the time.

The Police Department had asked that anyone with information about the accident contact the department.

Sutton said on Aug. 9 that the department still welcomed any information about the incident or the vehicle and its driver.

The number to call with tips is 941-364-7323.