By Lauren Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) – A cyclist died during a hit and run Wednesday in West Garfield Park.

Fifty-eight-year-old Francisco Cruz was a volunteer security guard at Church’s Chicken on South Pulaski, CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reports.

“He would help us assist, you know, moving the customers away from the front of the store and stuff like that,” said friend, Michael Guyton.

Cruz was also known in the neighborhood to be a ‘female protector,’ making sure women got home safely after work. Acting as a Good Samaritan and escorting a friend is how he died.

Witnesses said Cruz was crossing the street on his bicycle, shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday, when a van ran over him. The driver took off.

“She called my phone, saying ‘you know this old man Frank?,’ said stepson, Michael Burdine. “He right here on Maypole and Pulaski, he just got hit by a car.”

The 58-year-old was also known as ‘Pops.’ Cruz was a father of seven.

“We want justice,” Burdine said. “He helped everybody, he was a good guy.”

The guardian is not a guardian angel.

“It’s crazy,” Guyton said. “For this to happen is an absolute tragedy.”

Chicago Police are asking the public to help solve this hit and run.

Lauren Victory