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Obiwan Kenobi arrested in Roseville for hit and run

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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A Roseville man who bears the same name as a well-known Star Wars character was arrested over the weekend for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run collision last month.

Obiwan Kenobi, 37, allegedly left the scene after a five-car collision that occurred at a Roseville intersection just after 4 p.m. on March 19.

According to Roseville police, all five vehicles involved in the collision were in the westbound lanes of Fairway Drive approaching Rosehall Drive. 

Based on an investigation and witness statements, police determined three vehicles were stopped in the straight-ahead lane of westbound Fairway Drive and a fourth vehicle was stopped in the left-turn turn lane, preparing to turn left, according to Dee Dee Gunther of the Roseville Police Department. 

A fifth vehicle, described as a green Honda-type sedan, approached in the left-turn lane and then attempted to merge right into the straight-ahead lane, between two of the vehicles that were waiting to go straight, Gunther said.

The sedan collided with the two vehicles it tried to merge between, setting off a chain-reaction collision causing the other two waiting vehicles to be hit, Gunther said. 

The green sedan, which police suspect was being driven by Kenobi, then fled the scene, police said. 

Police said two adults in one of the vehicles involved complained of pain.

After following up on leads, Roseville police contacted Kenobi at his home in Roseville Saturday and arrested him on suspicion of hit-and-run causing injury.

He was also arrested on an unrelated Placer County bench warrant for petty theft. 

According to a 2008 article in the Lincoln News Messenger, Kenobi was born Benjamin Cale Feit.

He legally changed his name in 1999 after local radio station KWOD 106.5 held a contest stating the first person to come in with a legal document with the name Obiwan Kenobi on it would get $1,000.

Kenobi went to the DMV, filled out a form, paid a $12 fee and went down to the radio station to claim his prize. He has since kept the name.

As of press time, Kenobi was being held in the Placer County Jail in lieu of $17,500 bail.