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Woman’s Past Motivated Her to Turn In Hit & Run Suspect

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Gwendolyn Hartsfield talks with CBS4's Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

Gwendolyn Hartsfield talks with CBS4’s Jennifer Brice (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The man accused in a hit-and-run at a bus stop on East Colfax Avenue appeared in court on Friday. His girlfriend turned him in after seeing CBS4’s report.

Mark Skipper’s girlfriend told CBS4’s Jennifer Brice two of her own families members in the past have been drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents, including one that was deadly. She said that’s what motivated her to call the police.

Cellphone video was taken by a witness. It aired on CBS4 and was how Skipper was recognized by his girlfriend of four years.

“It was an awful good picture of him,” Gwendolyn Hartsfield said. “I saw him on the news running.”

Hartsfield says she immediately confronted Skipper, who was sleeping, after seeing the story on the CBS4.

“I asked him, ‘Did anyone get killed?’ And he just kind of mumbled. I was trying to get the information on what had happened while he was upset. He was a little sad and upset and he saying he was sorry,” Hartsfield said.

Hartsfield quietly called police. CBS4 was on hand when Skipper was being handcuffed and removed from Hartsfield’s home.

Detectives say they immediately recognized the clothes and tennis shoes Skipper was wearing, matching the photos and video taken by witnesses at the scene.

Skipper, who has an 11-page rap sheet of arrests, appeared in court Friday morning to be advised of his charges.

Meanwhile, John Shoeboot, a victim from the crash, is still recovering in the hospital. He suffered the worst of the injuries with two broken legs after being pinned between the car and bench.

The arrest affidavit says the Saab from the hit-and-run was loaned to Skipper by a friend, who gave detectives his name, but police couldn’t find him until Hartsfield called police and turned him in.

“He was angry. He’s angry about that,” Hartsfield said. “I would like to say deep down in my heart, he is sorry. He is sorry for the accident he caused. If you would have seen his face that day, it wasn’t the same person that they showed on TV.”

Skipper will be back in court Aug. 23 for a preliminary hearing. His bond still set at $10,000 but he’s still in custody.

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