A motorist is in critical condition after being beaten by a large group of people on the city's east side after his truck struck an 11-year-old boy Wednesday, police said.
"He got his," said one witness to the beating who declined to give her name. "He got beat up real bad."
Sgt. Michael Woody said officers believe the driver pulled over to check on the child after he was hit around 4:10 p.m. He was then assaulted by people in the neighborhood.
"Our chief indicated there was a large group of approximately 30 or more people," Woody said. "But that's not to say they all took part in the assault, but they did come out to assist the child, and it was a large group at that time. They could have been from that large group."
No additional information was available about the child's condition, but Woody said he was transported to St. John Hospital.
Woody said the driver sustained multiple, serious head injuries and was also transported to St. John.
"He could potentially die," Woody said.
Later Wednesday, a few neighbors milled around the scene, a busy intersection with a gas station, a Happy's Pizza and a liquor store. Despite the accident, children were still running through the street.
The resident who asked not to be identified said she saw the boy get hit by the truck after he and about three other children attempted to cross the intersection to go to a Clark gas station across the street.
"This little boy was screaming," she said. "There was a lot of people that came out. It was crazy."
She said several other neighbors ran outside when they heard the boy screaming. She said she and family watched as the driver was beaten by a group of men.
She said that after being beaten, the motorist went to the gas station for help.
The woman said several children routinely play outside and she's become increasingly concerned with motorists speeding through the residential neighborhoods.
She said cars are often "driving up and down the street fast."
Woody said the incident isn't being treated as a hit-and-run case because the driver stopped.
"The guy never tried to flee the scene," Woody said. "He got out to check on the child and was assaulted by people in the neighborhood."
Woody said police are searching for the individuals responsible for the assault.