NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 4-year-old boy from Queens who was critically injured after being struck by a dirt bike is on the road to recovery.
Meanwhile, his family is fighting for stiffer penalties, hoping to avoid a similar tragedy from happening again.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
In an exclusive interview with CBS2’s Cory James, 4-year-old Jonathan Beauchamp’s grandmother said she will never forget the moment when her grandson called for her for the first time while in the hospital.
“I cried. I cried because I said, ‘My baby is back,'” Millie Huertos said.
They were tears of joy following several days of agony. Jonathan’s family feared the worst because their little boy, who brings so much light and so much laughter, was lying on a bed in the ICU.
This after an illegal dirt bike rider ran him over in the parking lot at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park nearly two weeks ago.
“He couldn’t breathe. I was just scared to lose him,” Huertos said.
But last Wednesday, Jonathan opened his eyes.
It was the same day the three-day manhunt for the suspect accused of running him over ended. Twenty-nine-year-old Argenis Rivas was arrested after police say he went on the popular app TikTok, blaming everyone but himself.
“This hits home for me,” Annette DeJesus, Jonathan’s godmother, said.READ MORE: Gabby Petito's Father Announces Creation Of Gabby Petito Foundation Ahead Of Public Memorial Service
Now that Jonathan is out of Cohen Children’s Medical Center, his loved ones are making it their mission to not let this happen again.
They’re calling for the creation of “Jonathan’s Law.”
DeJesus says a dirt bike law needs to be passed now.
“He won’t be the only child. There will be many kids and many people,” she said. “And I’m pro with the bikes ’cause that’s a good thing, but laws need to be implemented or somebody is not gonna get just hit, somebody’s gonna get killed.”
Right now, Councilman Mark Gjonaj has sponsored legislation to increase fines and penalties for bike riders. Until it passes, Jonathan’s family says they will continue to fight to make it happen.
But in this moment, despite their little boy’s injuries, they are just filled with gratitude, hope and happiness.
“I’m thankful that he is good. I’m thankful that he was able to come out of the hospital alive,” DeJesus said.
Gjonaj’s bill would increase fines for people who drive bikes from $500 to $750 for the first offense. Any other offense would increase from $1,000 to $1,500.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jonathan through his recovery. To donate, click here.MORE NEWS: Gov. Kathy Hochul Increases Pressure On COVID Vaccine Holdouts As Deadline For Health Care Workers Approaches
This story first appeared on July 28, 2021.