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Fargo hit-and-run victim: 'I wish they would have stopped'

Justin Bohmer takes a brief walk in a hallway Monday at MeritCare Hospital with his father, Dan Bohmer, at his side. Bohmer was the victim of a hit-and-run accident last Wednesday in Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Justin Bohmer may have lost his hair after being struck by a hit-and-run driver last week, but his sense of humor remains solidly intact.

His message to other people: "Look both ways before you cross the road."

On walking Saturday for the first time since being hit: "It was like walking again, but a lot slower."

His other message to the public: "Don't run over people, and if you do, don't leave them there."

The 25-year-old Army veteran from Fargo spoke to the media Monday for the first time since he was seriously hurt in a hit-and-run early Wednesday in the 1200 block of Eighth Street South.

In seriousness, Bohmer said he's hopeful the driver will turn in himself or herself to police.

Speaking from his bed at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, he said he's upset about the incident, but added, "It's not going to help me to kick or scream or anything."

"I wish they would have stopped, but they didn't, so that's on them," he said.

Bohmer sustained a severe cut to the head, three broken vertebrae and a broken right arm. A long, thick line of stitches snakes across his shaved head. Staples hold together his arm where doctors inserted a plate and rods.

He's up and walking with a back brace now, but he said he still doesn't remember anything about the hit-and-run incident.

He and a friend had been playing music at The Aquarium nightclub in downtown Fargo that night, he said.

"Then we went back to his place, and then I left to go home, and then I woke up in the hospital the next day," he said.

His father, Dan Bohmer, has previously said his son believes he left his friend's place about 2 or 2:30 a.m. A passer-by reported finding Justin Bohmer bleeding in the middle of Eighth Street about 4:43 a.m.

Bohmer said he hopes to be back to "relatively normal" within a month or two. His father said they're working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and hope to find out today whether he'll be able to do his rehab in Fargo or have to travel to the Twin Cities.

Meanwhile, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver who hit him is up to more than $5,000, his father said.

Fargo police continue to follow up on any tips, Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

Police haven't identified the vehicle that hit Bohmer, but they are looking for a car that was reported stolen shortly after Bohmer was found in the street.

Lykken said the owner of the car, a maroon 1996 Cadillac STS with North Dakota plates HZN 588, told police she started the car about 4:55 a.m. Wednesday, and when she went back out to the car, it was gone. The address, in the 1600 block of Fifth Avenue South, is about 15 blocks from where Bohmer was hit.

"We have no indication that it's involved (in the hit-and-run), but we certainly want to look at it when we find it," Lykken said.