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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A driver hit a man on a scooter in south St. Louis, got out to check on him, then drove away, leaving the injured man in the street, police said. 

That driver also left behind what may be a vital clue:  a hood ornament from a Mercedes.

James Dunse is recovering from injuries after a car hit him at Grand and Russell around 1:45am Saturday.  Among the pieces of his scooter, some of which were still out in the street Tuesday night, there was that one peculiar clue. 

Dunse’s friends hoped it would lead to arrest.  They pooled donations for a $1,000 reward in the case. 

They’ve also started a FaceBook page regarding the reward fund:!/HelpJamesDunse1000Reward?fref=ts

“This was laying among the bike wreckage,” said Dunse’s friend, Kevin Doyle. “When he was hit, the scooter went flying.  He went up onto the vehicle.”

The scooter is cracked and broken from fender to speedometer.  James Dunse is cracked and broken from head to toe. His leg is fractured in three places. A helmet prevented severe head trauma.

“He was definitely in shock and was very close to non-responsive and everything. He thought it was a dark luxury vehicle.  Initially he thought a Lexus or Mercedes,” Doyle said. 

Doyle also said a tow truck driver in the area stopped to block traffic after the collision.  He waited with Dunse until police arrived.

Police said the driver who hit Dunse got out of the car, looked at him, and left. 

Then, Doyle said, the tow truck driver told him something strange happened. “He told me a woman, a blond white female and had given this to him (a plush blanket) for James laying in the street.  He said that she had said, ‘This is for him in case he goes into the shock.’ And then she got back into the car and drove off.”

He still has the blanket and the hood ornament.  The woman with the blanket was driving a dark Mercedes. 

Given that ornament that came off the car along with Dunse, it’s hard for police and Doyle to believe it’s just a coincidence.

“There’s no doubt in this case that an actual human was hit.  [Dunse] came up over the windshield. This person, the driver, knew they hit James.  They knew that they left him laying in the street in the rain,” Doyle said.

Police described the suspect as a white female, around 5’6’ tall, with blond hair, driving a dark colored, 4-door Mercedes.

The car is likely missing a hood ornament, with damage to the front. 

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