Long Beach man faces upgraded charges in hit-run

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A Long Beach man pleaded not guilty Monday to upgraded charges that he hit a teenage girl riding a bicycle in September and dragged her more than 600 feet.

German Guttierez, 49, of Long Beach, is charged with first- and second-degree assault, aggravated vehicular assault, first-degree vehicular assault and other charges, prosecutors said. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

His lawyer could not be reached for comment Monday.

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Gutierrez is accused of driving a 2002 red Jeep Liberty east on East Beech Street in Long Beach, and striking the 15-year-old victim as she rode near Edwards Boulevard Sept. 5. Gutierrez dragged her and the bike more than 600 feet, police said. After she and the bike became dislodged from the Jeep, he continued east on East Beech, striking a parked car, police said.

Five hours later, he registered a blood-alcohol content reading of .30 percent, or more than three times the legal limit, prosecutors said. The victim suffered serious injuries to the left side of her body. Extensive skin grafts have resulted in permanent scarring, and she suffered an injury to the tendons in her left hand that may require surgery, prosecutors said.

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