NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for the suspect who struck a 4-year-old boy with a dirt bike in Queens.
The NYPD is still looking for the hit-and-run driver, putting out a plea to the public.READ MORE: NYPD Lieutenant Shot In Ankle Apprehending Suspect In The Bronx
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to the little boy’s father and step-mother off-camera. They said his condition is improving at the hospital, and he’s alert and breathing on his own, but just like police, they’re begging the driver to turn himself in.
“Protecting our children is a fundamental component of traffic safety, and today, we are here asking the public’s help,” NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster said Tuesday.
The NYPD is on a relentless search for the driver of some sort of dirt bike who investigators say hit the 4-year-old boy and then took off.
It happened around 5:45 p.m. Sunday in the Meadow Lake trail parking lot inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“He was traveling at a higher rate of speed than you should be traveling in a parking lot when he struck the child,” an NYPD official said.
The little boy was with his family. His father says they didn’t want to wait for an ambulance, personally rushing his son to Flushing Hospital in less than 10 minutes.READ MORE: Justice Department Says Russians Hacked Federal Prosecutors
“No parent should have to endure such a senseless act,” Royster said.
People DeAngelis spoke to say they often see dirt bikes speeding in the park, but it’s a problem citywide.
In May, the NYPD announced a crackdown on these illegal vehicles across the city.
“We’ve seized over 500 of those bikes within the last week or two, and we have actually destroyed over 5,000,” Royster said. “We are not going to tolerate these bikes being used on our streets. As you can see, when a 4-year-old child is playing in a parking lot and you have people that are racing in a parking lot with these illegal instruments, these vehicles, it’s dangerous.”
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Police say the suspect is a male, in his teens or late 20s and possibly Hispanic.
They’re hoping people come forward with information but especially video to arrest the suspect and get some justice for the little boy.MORE NEWS: Police: Woman, 61, Killed In West Islip House Fire
A Bronx councilman introduced a bill last week that would increase fines for those who drive these bikes 50%, from $500 to $750, for the first offense and from $1,000 to $1,500 for all others.