Pedestrian hospitalized following hit and run

COVINGTON - Covington police are asking for the public's help in locating a suspect who they say hit a pedestrian in the parking lot of a shopping center and then sped away.

The victim, who reportedly injured the back of his head as he fell, was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, Covington Police Department Officer Justin Blankenship was dispatched to the parking lot between Ingles and Five O'clock Somewhere in the Covington Gallery shopping center off of U.S. Highway 278 after receiving a call about a person being hit by a vehicle, he said in an incident report.

Upon arriving at the scene, Blankenship saw the victim lying on his back with a towel under his head, which was soaked in blood.

The victim's girlfriend told police that her boyfriend had walked over to a man, whom she described as being short, between 30 to 40 years of age and driving what appeared to be a light blue Acura, and asked for a cigarette.

The suspect, who was also said to have a shaved head and was wearing glasses, khaki pants and a green knit shirt, reportedly told the victim "No," and then backed up his vehicle, striking the victim in the process.

The driver then turned onto Turner Lake Road, traveling northbound.

According to Lt. Wendell Wagstaff, spokesman for the CPD, witnesses were able to get a partial reading of the vehicle's tag, which he said began with "APZ."

The victim, who required several staples to the back of his head, is currently recovering from his injuries at home, police said.

Police ask that anyone who has contact with this vehicle or its driver to contact CPD Detective Mike Tinsley at 770-786-7605. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting their Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "contact us" and then "secret witness."

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.