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Buffalo, N.Y., releases dramatic hit-and-run surveillance video

A 19-year-old driver faces charges for this hit and run accident that sent a teen to the hospital. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

Editor's note: The above video contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.

A driver who struck a pedestrian, sent him flipping through the air, and then drove off has been caught -- both by Buffalo, N.Y., police and on city surveillance cameras -- and now, the dramatic footage has been made public.

"The footage is extremely graphic," Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference Monday, adding that he was releasing it in response to a slew of hit-and-run accidents in the region recently. "The purpose for showing this video footage is to dramatize how dangerous hit and run accidents are."

The incident in the video happened last Thursday at about 3 a.m., reported NBC affiliate WGRZ.com. Three pedestrians are seen walking in the road in Buffalo's west side on the city surveillance video. The men scramble to the sidewalk as a car suddenly roars up behind them, striking one and coming within inches of the others. After getting hit by the car, the victim goes flying over the hood, and the car continues driving.

But not for long: Within minutes, police had arrested the suspect, 19-year-old Tornubari Gbaraba, thanks to descriptions of his vehicle from eyewitnesses, according to local reports.

"He was arrested and charged with assault in the first-degree, reckless driving and fleeing from a police officer," Daniel Derenda, Buffalo police commissioner, told reporters Monday.

The victim, Victor Jerez, 18, was taken to the hospital with multiple injuries, but has since been released, reported WGRZ.

Gbaraba is an exchange student from Nigeria, reported BuffaloNews.com. He's accused of leading police on a short car chase before being forced to the curb.

Police don't believe alcohol played a role in the hit-and-run, but they say they aren't sure if the victim was targeted, reported WKBW.com.

Last Thursday's incident was one of three hit-and-run crashes during an 18-hour span in the Buffalo area, reported BuffaloNews.com.

"My message is if you commit any kind of crime in the City of Buffalo, we are watching, we will not tolerate it, and it's just a matter of time before we will catch you and put you in jail for committing that crime," the mayor said.

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