Suspect in hit-and-run crash that killed 5-year-old boy is arrested after surrendering to police
A 19-year-old man suspected of killing a 5-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles surrendered Wednesday to police.
Flanked by his family, Homer Watford arrived at the LAPD’s 77th Street Station and told a desk officer that he drove the SUV that struck the young boy, identified as Ronald O’Neal.
In an interview with detectives, Watford provided a statement and admitted to his role in the crash. He was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and remains in Los Angeles County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond, according to jail records.
The deadly incident occurred Tuesday about 5:15 p.m. near 82nd Street and Towne Avenue in Florence, according to LAPD Officer Sal Ramirez.
Authorities said a dark green, faded Chevrolet Suburban from the mid-1990s was traveling westbound on 82nd Street toward Towne Avenue.
The boy ran into the street and was struck by the vehicle. Ronald was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The driver failed to stop and help the boy, authorities said.
The boy’s mother said he would have turned 6 in May.
“Ronald was my baby,” Jaychele Turner told KTLA-TV Channel 5. “I’m just going to miss him playing the drums, playing a game, dancing.”
Turner said her son may have been trying to help nab a neighbor’s dog. He did not usually run into the street, she said.
Authorities said the SUV rounded a corner, then stopped after striking the boy. It drove off at a high speed. Police said the driver may have struck the boy a second time when fleeing.
Watford’s 20-year-old cousin, Eric Roberts, was also in the car at the time of the crash, police said. Investigators interviewed Roberts and he provided a statement.
As of late Wednesday, Roberts had not been arrested.
11:00 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details about the circumstances of the driver’s arrest.
This article was originally published at 7 p.m.
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