LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An elementary school teacher pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that she was behind the wheel during a hit-and-run that left a man badly injured.
Molly Jane Hoene, 52, was charged with two counts of felony hit-and-run after prosecutors allege she hit a man while driving her Mini Cooper back in October and left.
Video from a nearby security camera showed the driver of a Mini Cooper slamming into a bicyclist on Berkley Avenue in Silver Lake Oct. 25 before driving off, leaving the badly injured man lying in the street.
A few days later, the bicyclist, 57-year-old David Molina, shared the harrowing story from his hospital bed where he was recovering from a broken leg, broken arm and a fractured spine.
“I need the driver to please turn himself in and do the right thing,” Molina said.
An auto body shop owner in Glendale saw the story, and immediately recognized the car — because he said it was in his shop.
“She, whoever the person was that came and brought the vehicle in, said it was vandalized,” the shop owner said. “They said they woke up in the morning and saw the vehicle vandalized.”
Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department did not believe that the vehicle was vandalized, but rather sustained the damage when Molina hit the hood and windshield.
On Tuesday, Hoene tried to hide from cameras as she left a Los Angeles courthouse after pleading not guilty.
Hoene is a fifth grade teacher at Ivanhoe Elementary School in Silver Lake. The Los Angeles Unified School District said she was removed from the classroom as soon as the district learned of the allegations against her.
Hoene is out on bond and has been ordered not to drive.