VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) - It's the kind of crime that makes you ask "what kind of person would do this?" A driver hit a 76-year-old man and his puppy at the Oceanfront and drove off.
Marty Zeldin and his puppy, Gage, were just out for a quick walk before bed Saturday night when they came to the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 32nd Street.
Witnesses told police traffic stopped at the red light, but one impatient driver went around the other cars and hit Zeldin and Gage.
"He has a smashed pelvis, broken into multiple pieces. He has two broken ribs, a broken eye socket," Zeldin's wife, Carol Parish, told 10 On Your Side.
Parish has been with Zeldin at the hospital through two surgeries so far.
"It's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, and my husband, he's not an angry man, but he is very very angry about this. Who hits a 76-year-old man and a puppy and drives off?", Parish said.
Witnesses only got a quick look at the car. They were more concerned about caring for Zeldin at the time. Witnesses told police the suspect vehicle appeared to be a dark colored Mazda 3 hatchback with tinted windows. It likely has some damage because witnesses say the force of the impact sent Zeldin flying into the air.
"We're hoping he will have a full recovery, but with his age, it's yet to be determined. Everything is unknown at this point and very frightening," Parish said.
In addition to information that can lead to the driver, the family would also like to hear from anyone who might have seen what happened to the dog.
Gage is a seeing eye dog, and his caregivers need to know about his trauma so they can help him work through it. If they can't, the pup may be released from the seeing eye dog program and his mission to help people.
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