Breaking news: Dominique Rush — and father — arrested in hit-and-run death of Alex Romero

Funny how things work sometimes.

For the past few months, I’ve known the identity of the woman accused of killing 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero last April, thanks to a comment that was left on here.

And the last couple of weeks, I’ve known that an arrest was imminent, and that a family member was likely to be arrested for helping her coverup the crime.

But when the news finally broke, I was couple hours from home in the middle of bike ride. Which means I got scooped by just about every news source in Los Angeles.

That’s okay, though. Because the good news is that the LAPD investigators never gave up, even when it looked like they might never get the evidence they needed to make an arrest, let alone get a conviction.

So when I got a call from LAPD Sgt. Krumer to let me know that 23-year old Dominique Rush had finally been arrested in Oxnard for the high speed hit-and-run collision that took Romero’s life, I was happy that Alex and his family would finally see justice for his needless death.

And a little heartbroken when he added that the family member accused of helping to cover up the crime was her own father, 44-year old Steven Rush.

After all, what kind of man learns that his child has just taken the life of another human being, then — allegedly — goes out of his way to help her hide the evidence and avoid responsibility for her actions?

According to KNBC-4,

“The father went way beyond taking care of his child,” said Capt. Ivan Minsal of LAPD Valley Traffic Division. “He concealed the information. He concealed the car that his daughter, the driver, was driving.”

Maybe my own father was the exception.

But I’d like to think that most fathers would have marched their child into the police station to take responsibility for the crime. Maybe after calling a lawyer first.

I know mine would have, as much as it would have broken his heart.

Dominique was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, with a $100,000 bond; Steven was held on a $20,000 bond. No word on whether they are still in custody.

Honestly, I don’t know which act I find more appalling. The crime, or the coverup.

I’m only glad that both may now be held accountable.

And I thank the LAPD for making sure they didn’t get away with it.

14 comments

  1. Jim Lucas says:

    Parents have been helping their offspring evade responsibility for their actions for a very long time.

  2. maggie says:

    Jim,

    So true.

    How about this ‘Truth is Stranger than Fiction’ cover up from 1987? I remember this horror as if it was yesterday: CHP Unravels Tale of Panic, Deception After Fatal Crash.

  3. Dave Mace says:

    Great example Dad gave his kid. Pathetic. We live in a society that takes no responsibility for its actions. Now we have “parents” like this making certain that it lives on.

    • bikinginla says:

      Paul, I don’t allow personal insults or threats on here. I’m deleting your comment, and the next threat you make on here will be forwarded to the police.

  4. DJwheels says:

    According to the LA County Sheriff’s inmate locator page, Steven Rush was released at 7:39pm tonight.

    No information regarding release for Dominique yet, so she may still be in custody. There are two case numbers listed for her, and the second has a bail amount of $1,568. So, family will have to come up with just over $10,000 to bail her out.

  5. Jim Lucas says:

    CHP Unravels Tale of Panic, Deception After Fatal Crash
    September 18, 1987|LONN JOHNSTON | Times Staff WriterThe youth on the bicycle was lying dead in the road. The $80,000 1986 Porsche had a crumpled front end and a shattered windshield. Nearby, a worried young man said his father had been driving the car but had wandered away from the accident in shock.

    An hour later, sheriff’s deputies in a helicopter sighted the 47-year-old father, dazed and groggy, in a street a mile away.

    But looking back at the Sept. 8 fatal collision in Laguna Hills, California Highway Patrol investigators are saying the only things real that night were the body and the banged-up sports car. The worried son and the shocked father, according to CHP officer Patrick Barnard, put on “an Academy Award-winning act.”

    Acting on a telephone tip and unexplained details from the accident investigation, the CHP now says it was the son who was driving, alone in the car. And police have pieced together what they say now was a plot by the two to pin the fatal traffic accident on the father–not the son–when the son panicked about the car’s insurance.

    The plot, hatched by telephone after the accident, involved having the father race down from Culver City 50 miles away, then wander near the accident. To account for the hour’s drive from the city, the son would tell officers, who would arrive on the scene quickly, that his father was wandering in the vicinity, forcing police to search for him.

    But the day after the accident, according to CHP and the son, both father and son admitted to police that they had lied. Ronald A. Haw, the father, said he was at home when his son, Gary, crashed into Jason Theodore Klein, 17, of Laguna Hills, police said.

    No one has been arrested in connection with the incident, pending the completion of a CHP investigation late next week, CHP officer Bernard said.

    “It’s a scary story,” Barnard said Thursday. “How can anybody be like that? How far can you go to protect your kid?”

    In interviews Thursday, both the CHP and Gary Haw said that Gary, 24, of Laguna Niguel, was driving his father’s Porsche–which is not insured for drivers under 25–westbound on Alicia Parkway when he hit Jason Klein as the youth was turning left into a shopping center. Gary Haw said he was driving 45 m.p.h., the speed limit on that road. The CHP said he was driving about 70 m.p.h.

    The impact knocked Jason more than 300 feet, the CHP said, killing him instantly.

    As Jason and his mangled bicycle lay in the road, Gary Haw walked up to a gas station pay telephone and made two calls, the CHP and Haw say.

    “All I remember was the shatter of glass,” Gary Haw said. “I looked up the street and realized there was nothing I could do for the kid. One morbid thing came into my mind. The kid was negligent. The only way to get anyone to pay for this is to sue the parent’s insurance company.”

    So Haw said he called his father and told him to hurry down to Laguna Hills. Next, he called a former neighbor in Laguna Hills.

    Haw quickly outlined a plan with the former neighbor, Linda Diane Eder, to put his father behind the wheel of the Porsche, the CHP said. According to the scenario outlined by the CHP, Eder was to flag down Ronald Haw at the Alicia Parkway offramp from the San Diego Freeway. She was to tell the elder Haw to wander around about a mile from the scene, pretending to be in shock because of the accident and say he drove the Porsche, the CHP said.

    CHP officers said Eder telephoned their office afterward and tipped them that the Haws had lied. Ronald Haw and Linda Eder could not be reached for comment Thursday.

    Police still want to talk to a man who was driving an older-model white Ford courier pickup truck. The man, who used his truck to shield the body of the bicyclist as it lay on the road, may be an eyewitness to the accident, Barnard said. The Haws are cooperating with the investigation, he said.

    “You’re scared,” Gary Haw said Thursday in explaining the events of Sept. 8. “My God, I just got a dead kid, wrecked my dad’s car and don’t know how to pay for it.”

    Haw said he never directly spoke to his father about the macabre charade until the two met at the accident scene.

    “I never talked to my dad, just my neighbor,” Haw said. “I’m surprised my dad went along with any of it. He was probably scared just like I was.”

    The night of the accident, his mother and father talked with him at his house, Haw said, and the family decided to tell CHP officers the truth. “My mother was hysterical,” Haw said. “She didn’t know what my father and I were going to do.”

    The morning after the accident, a CHP investigator called the father and reminded him it was aainst the law to give false information to a peace officer, Barnard said.

    Later that day, the Haws called police to confess to the deception.

    Tina Klein, mother of the victim, said she had not heard from the Haws. “The lord has protected us from being angry,” she said at her home Thursday. “Upset perhaps, but not angry. I think they are hurting too, somehow.”

    Jason, the youngest child in the family, is survived by three brothers and a sister, as well as his parents. The young man wanted to be a sheriff’s deputy, his mother said, and was taking classes at Saddleback College.

    The night of the accident, he was out for a ride on a new bicycle he had just bought, she said.

    “He cleaned the bike, gave me a big hug, and said ‘Momma, I’ll be back in half an hour,’ ” Tina Klein said. “He usually didn’t hug me anymore. He said he was getting too old for that.”

  6. Jim Lucas says:

    Like I said, “Parents have been helping their offspring evade responsibility for their actions for a very long time.”

  7. We had an arrest in Santa Cruz for a hit and run fatality as well yesterday. In that case, the parents of the driver told CHP it was their daughter who killed cyclist Noel Hamilton, and told their daughter to surrender herself to authorities. Heartbreaking for the parents, I’m sure, but the right thing to do.

  8. Don says:

    Others may have been first with the news, but I read it here first.

  9. DJwheels says:

    According to the Sheriff’s website, Dominique has an arraignment date for case # S320800190 at the Lancaster Courthouse tomorrow morning in Dept. A03. She was moved from the Valley Traffic Division Jail to the women’s detention center in Lynwood tonight around 6pm.

    The website also notes an arraignment date of August 26 for case # LA06854701, which is the same case # assigned to her father.

  10. DJwheels says:

    I called the courtroom for the Lancaster case #. Bailiff told me the case doesn’t show up on his calendar, so I believe this might be a warrant recall on an unpaid traffic citation which would not require an appearance.

    I’ll try and figure out if the Aug 26 date is also a warrant recall or a real arraignment date.

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