A 19-year-old man suspected of fatally injuring a 5-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crash outside the child’s South Los Angeles home surrendered to police Wednesday.
Homer Watford was accompanied by his family about 2 p.m. when he went to the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Station and advised a desk officer that he was driver of the suspect SUV, officials said.
The father of Ronald Neal told reporters at the scene of Tuesday’s crash that Watford, someone he knew, had called him to say he was going to turn himself in.
Detectives with the LAPD’s South Traffic Division interviewed Watford, who admitted he was driving the green SUV that struck Ronald and left the scene, police said.
The sole passenger in the SUV, Watford’s 20-year-old cousin Eric Roberts, later arrived at the station, where he too was interviewed and provided a statement, according to the LAPD.
Watford was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and about 5:30 p.m., his green 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe was located in the 2300 block of Third Avenue, police said.
“The vehicle had collision damage consistent with (what was seen in security camera) video and both license plates are missing,” according to a police statement.
Ronald was struck about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at 82nd Street and Towne Avenue and died at a hospital, said LAPD Officer Sal Ramirez.
Police had disseminated a photo of the vehicle, a mid-1990s faded dark green Chevrolet Suburban with tinted rear windows and front end damage from the crash, and described the driver as a man between 19 and 25 years old who had a passenger of about the same age.
Earlier Wednesday, police and family members gathered at the accident scene to seek the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
“You dragged my baby, and it’s just not right. It’s not right for me to have to suffer ….,” Jaychele Turner said tearfully.
Another family member, Kimberland Parker, had issued a message for the motorist and his passenger.
“I just wanted to say to the driver, (and the) passenger — think about your nephew, think about your little brother, think about your family members,” she said.
“If this was to happen to your family member, you would want that person to come forward, and to turn themselves in. It’s only the right thing to do. And on behalf of our family, we just solicit your prayers; that God would give us strength to get through this tragic time that we’re going through.”
Family members led a candlelight vigil in the boy’s memory Wednesday evening.
–City News Service
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