Mother of Utah man killed in hit-and-run homicide pleads with driver to turn himself in

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The mother of the man killed by a hit-and-run driver in West Valley City is speaking out about the loss of her son and the heroic actions that led to his tragic death.

Jeremy Hardman died Wednesday after witnesses say he confronted a man he saw abusing a dog on the corner of 3600 West and 4100 South.

That man allegedly got into a car and ran Hardman over after that confrontation.

"For this man to just cold-blooded turn around and run over him makes me so angry,” said Judy Crocker, Hardman’s mother.

The suspect’s vehicle was located in Taylorsville, but the driver remains at large.

"I beg the guy to turn himself in and face justice for what he's done,” Crocker said.

Police say the suspect and Hardman got into an altercation of some kind, and witnesses and loved ones say the altercation began after Hardman and a friend stopped to defend an animal the suspect was abusing.

After the altercation, police say the man got into a vehicle, made a U-turn, and ran Hardman over as the victim was in a crosswalk.

"That's totally heartless of a person to make the decision that it's better to kill another human being than it is to stop beating a defenseless animal,” Crocker said.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic man in his late 20s or early 30s with a buzz-style haircut.

Crocker says her son's death is a shock, but what he died fighting for is not.

"Jeremy was an animal lover from the day he was born, and if he saw an animal being abused he was not against sticking up for the underdog,” she said, adding: "He is a true hero."