Deaf man left for dead after hit-and-run

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach police are searching for the suspect in a hit-and-run crash near Naval Air Station Oceana early Sunday morning.

Family members say it happened just before 2 a.m. on Harpers Road, but police say it happened 12 hours later on London Bridge Road, which is nearby. The victim, who is deaf, was riding a moped home from his job at Oceana. Chris Valerio spoke to using sign language and a translator.

“He thought he was going to die,” said Katherine Alvarado, the victim’s close friend.

She said the suspect vehicle followed Valerio’s moped closely, until it hit him.

“Someone came up right behind him, real close, and started flashing headlights,” Alavarado said.

A woman found Valerio lying in the dirt and called 911. His hip and arm are broken, but his biggest concern is getting back to work.

“He will have to go back on disability, something he fought for a long time to be off of,” Alvarado said. “He doesn’t want to be a burden to society.”

Valerio has never been a burden to Alavarado’s family — in fact, quite the opposite. The family adopted him more than 10 years ago, and he helped raise her nephew, who later died from cerebral palsy.

“He took care of him and we owe him maybe even more for what he has done for my nephew before he died,” she said.

So together they stand by Valerio’s bedside, communicating the story to 10 On Your Side via sign language, Spanish and English — all in hopes of finding the person who caused all their pain.

“What if someone did this to you or your family, your kids, your father,your mom?” Alavarado said. “Think about that for one second. If you happen to see this on the news, turn yourself in.”

Police do not have a description of the suspect’s vehicle. The family told police are checking security cameras from nearby stores.

If you have any information about the case, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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