Arrest made in hit-and-run that left boy fighting for his life
Published Monday, May 27, 2019 8:39AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 27, 2019 5:56PM EDT
Toronto Police have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with a hit-and-run incident that left a four-year-old boy in critical condition.
Radiul Chowdhury was struck by a motorcycle Sunday in Toronto after he darted into traffic while with his mother in the city’s east end. He remains unconscious and sustained serious brain damage, along with a broken shoulder, elbow and legs.
Police say the man faces charges including driving a motor vehicle with an improper license, operating a motor vehicle without insurance and leave an accident scene causing bodily harm.
According to a news release, the arrest was made on Monday after by members of the Traffic Services Hit and Run unit. The unit also seized a 2016 Harley Davidson Road Glide Motorcycle.
Police had been searching for a male driver and a female passenger. Witnesses allege that the driver stopped the bike after the boy was struck, but then sped off, and that the woman fled the scene on foot.
Officials did not identify the man in the release.
In a Periscope video shared on social media after the arrest, Sgt. Brett Moore with the Traffic Services unit said that police had identified the woman, but did not provide any further details.
“We’re not going to high-five now just … because we’ve made an arrest,” he said in the video. “Any officer knows that any investigation is only celebrated at the conclusion of a case.”
Ruhul Chowdhury, the boy’s father, told reporters that he forgives the driver, but does not understand how someone could speed away from a badly injured child.
“I can’t even imagine how people can just hit a little kid and just run away,” he told CTV News Toronto from outside the Hospital for Sick Children, where Radiul is being treated. “They didn’t even turn around to look at my son. He could die on the spot. They didn’t even care.”
Doctors and nurses say there are signs of hope from Radiul, but that nothing will be certain about his condition for at least 48 hours. Chowdhury said that his son responded with movement when his wife spoke to him.
“Brother, I’m calling you brother, I forgive you,” Chowdhury said, when asked by CP24 what he would say to the motorcycle driver. “Please just hand over yourself to the cops. Please just surrender.”
He added that people made mistake – intentionally and unintentionally – and that his Muslim faith urges forgiveness and mercy.
“I only want my son back,” he said, fighting tears.
Police reported on Sunday afternoon that the child had been pronounced dead at hospital, but corrected that statement several hours later without explaining how the mistake happened.
Chowdhury told CTV News Toronto that his wife initially told him that their son hadn’t survived, but then Radiul was revived.
Moore said that police had received 32 tips through Crime Stoppers and dozens of calls related to the incident in under 24 hours.
Police are still appealing to the public to call police traffic services at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 (TIPS) if they have any dashcam video, security camera footage or other information that could assist with the investigation.
-With files from CTV Toronto and CP24