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The mother of a 7-year-old boy who was killed in South Los Angeles when his motorized bicycle was struck by an ice cream truck questioned the police version of events Thursday, saying her son was walking the bike across a street when he was hit.
Jamarion Thomas was struck at 7:12 p.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of East 97th Street, according to police and the coroner’s office.
Los Angeles police Sgt. Susie Padilla said the boy appeared to have been holding the side of the truck as it was in motion, and he apparently fell from the bike and was struck.
“It’s not like the ice cream truck hit him or saw him coming,” Padilla said.
After the boy was struck, a crowd of people in the neighborhood ran to the truck and began assaulting the driver. The man, in his late 40s, was “pretty beat up,” Padilla said.
The driver was not hospitalized. He was questioned, but he was not arrested, police said. No arrests were made in the attack on the driver.
A witness said the driver didn’t stop until someone shouted at him. The driver may not have been licensed to operate a commercial vehicle, according to reports from the scene.
Jamarion’s mother, 34-year-old Danisha Mitchell, told ABC7 her son wasn’t holding onto the truck.
“He was walking it across the street,” she said. “So I don’t get the part where they say he was riding the bike. I don’t understand that.”
The boy was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
A makeshift memorial grew today on the sidewalk where the boy was struck, with the damaged motorized bike as the centerpiece. A Teddy bear, candles and flowers were also placed at the scene.
His grandmother, Lanora Satterwhite, with whom he lived, told reporters, “All I have left of him is this — a shoe.”
— City News Service
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