NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The father of a teen skateboarder who police say was killed in a hit-and-run in Brooklyn says he forgives the driver.
Police said 18-year-old Alejandro Tello died overnight at Maimonides Medical Center after being struck by a sport utility vehicle Sunday afternoon at the intersection of West 10th Street and Avenue T in Gravesend.
“It’s not right that he just drove,” the teen’s father, Benjamin Tello said. “He could’ve stopped at least.”
Police said the driver of the SUV was making a right turn onto Avenue T when the car hit the teen, knocking him off his skateboard and running him over, leaving him in the crosswalk. He was taken to the hospital with severe head trauma, where he later died.
“My heart fills with a lot of sadness,” Alejandro’s cousin Hector Tello told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
Benjamin Tello returned to the scene Monday with a message for the driver, who police said fled the scene.
“If you are watching me, I forgive you. Me and my wife, my family, we forgive him,” he said. “I wish the best for his family because I know he could have a family and I don’t wish anything bad to him.”
Tello lived just a half mile from the crash site. In surveillance video of the incident, other drivers are seen pulling over and running to help.
“It’s inhumane to not even check on a person to see if they’re OK,” resident Harry Hammerstone said.
Benjamin Tello said his son was a selfless soul and the third of four children. He was going into his senior year of high school and wanted to go to college to become a detective.
He was always thinking of others, planning to buy a drum set for his younger brothers.
“A lot of people love him,” the heartbroken father said. “I mean, he has a very good heart, you know.”
“It’s like he knew something was going to happen,” Benjamin Tello said.
Now, neighbors want to see that the person who was behind the wheel is off the street.
“This kid that was hit by this person, I wish the person would come through,” said resident Joe Passantino.
Passantino feels especially sorry. Having survived a hit-and-run himself, he knows the family’s pain.
“You go through agony and forget it,” he said. “I know what the family is going through and it’s not a good feeling.”
The vehicle was later recovered about two miles from the scene, but so far, there are no arrests.
The investigation is ongoing.