Sometimes being a hero means pulling your friend from a burning car. Sometimes, when you couldn’t do that, being a hero means standing up and telling your story. It takes courage, but it’s also an act of generosity.
This is what David Malakian, a 29-year-old resident of Valley Village did this week in the non-jury lawsuit trial against Arsen Akopyan, who is wanted for murder, vehicular manslaughter, and hit-and-run driving but has since fled to Armenia.
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After a night of partying, two 25-year-old guys met up with Akopyan, Malakian, and others. They then all piled into a silver Audi, four passengers in the back seat and two on the passenger side of the front seat. Akopyan was allegedly driving. His driving became more and more reckless, according to David Malakian’s testimony. He sped through intersections at 100 miles per hour, narrowly avoiding massive collisions.
Finally, the Audi made contact with another car and was sent spinning into a wall. The car then burst into flames. David Malakian describes helping get the passengers out. But two in the back burned to death before they could escape.
Meanwhile, according to Malakian, Akopyan fled, claiming he had a suspended license. Also, according to witnesses, he did nothing to help.