Christopher Patton was having what family and friends described as the best night of his life last month before he was struck and killed by a driver in downtown Denver.
He and a group of four friends traveled from California to Denver for vacation and the group spent the evening of Sept. 6 dining, laughing and sharing memories. They hopped on electric scooters and toured the downtown streets.
About 1:30 a.m. Sept. 7 near 14th and Arapahoe streets, a driver struck 26-year-old Patton and one of his friends, tossing Patton onto the sidewalk and killing him. The young men heard a car revving toward them as they rode the scooters through the streets, Sachal Jogi, Patton’s friend who was injured in the crash, said at a news conference held by Patton’s family Tuesday.
Jogi heard Patton yell, “Watch out!” before the driver struck both of them.
Family members said it’s possible Patton, who was Black, was targeted because of his race and because he was wearing a “Black Lives Matter” mask. Patton’s family and friends are frustrated with the pace of the Denver Police Department’s investigation into the incident, Denver attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai said.
Denver police at a separate news conference Tuesday would not say whether there was any evidence the incident was a hate crime, but said they are pursuing all possibilities.