Police officials pleaded with the public Tuesday for help in finding the hit-and-run driver who ran over and critically injured a 4-year-old boy in Queens over the weekend.
NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster says detectives are seeking the driver of an illegal dirt bike or ATV that struck the 4-year-old boy on the afternoon of July 18 and fled the scene, leaving him for dead on Sunday night.
According to police, at 5:47 p.m. Sunday evening, the suspect rode an illegal two-wheeled motorcycle in the parking lot of Flushing Meadows Park Boathouse and hit Jonathan Beauchamp, who sustained head trauma from the collision.
Beauchamp was rushed to Flushing Hospital, later transferred to Cohen’s Children’s Hospital. He’s still in critical condition, according to reports.
“Protecting our children is a fundamental component of traffic safety, and today we are here asking the public’s help,” Chief Royster said. “No parent should have to endure such a senseless act.”
A $10,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the illegal motorist’s arrest and conviction.
Royster described the suspect wanted for questioning as a male, possibly Hispanic, in his late teens or early 20s. Due to the incident occurring within the park, NYPD officials shared that there is a limited amount of video footage available for inspection.
“We will be working closely with the Queens District Attorney’s office to arrest and prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law,” Royster said.
The NYPD has already been waging a war this summer on motor vehicles that are not street legal by not only confiscating the trail bikes, but also crushing them at a facility on Long Island.
Since the weekend’s tragic incident, it appears the police department is now taking a zero-tolerance policy. Previously NYPD officials stated that they would only be seizing vehicles which are parked in public spaces.
However, Royster told amNewYork Metro at the conference that if they deem it safe, they will now be pulling over the vehicles, in addition to also removing them from properties such as NYCHA complexes.
“They are dangerous because people are using them to speed through the streets, which are very populated and given time, pedestrians or other cyclists could be walking or riding and these particular devices are speeding through the streets,” Royster said. “We are not going to tolerate these bikes being used on our streets.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.