After the hit-and-run death of a 12-year old boy collecting money for his track team Saturday, critics Monday questioned the practice of allowing kids to raise funds in Dallas roadways.
Darryl Blair, the publisher of the Elite News community newspaper, said he has crusaded against kids panhandling in the street.
"Just as late as Tuesday I was at Dallas City Hall speaking with a city council member about getting this ordinance enforced and having something done about children in the right of way, in the roadway. Then this happens," Blair said.
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Rickie Tave was killed Saturday when he was struck by a car around 1:30 p.m. on Loop 12 Ledbetter Drive at Vista Wood Boulevard near I-35E.
His coach verified Monday that the boy was collecting donations for the Oak Cliff Missiles Track Team when Tave stepped off the curb and was struck by a car.
Police said the boy was taken to Children's Medical Center Dallas, where he was pronounced dead.
Former Dallas City Council candidate Joe Tave is a distant relative of the victim.
"It certainly is tragic, for anyone to experience, losing a child at 12 years of age," he said.
Joe Tave said he has also campaigned for an end to youth fundraising in the road.
"There are other ways to get money and the community needs to make contributions to these programs," he said.
Police said the driver, 26-year-old Jastasia King, initially stopped after the collision, but then got back in the car and left the scene. Police later located King -- she faces a charge of failure to stop and render aid. Records show she had a prior arrest for drug possession.
Witnesses verified the police report that the boy ran into the street when he was hit, but also said that King ran a red light at the corner, which caused the accident.
The boy's father and his coach both attended a track meet at Kincaid Stadium in Dallas Monday where the team dedicated their effort to Rickie. The father and the coach declined to answer additional questions.
Parent Alicia Finley said the Oak Cliff Missiles have 32 members. She said she and other parents witnessed what happened Saturday and are still shaken by the tragedy.
She said the team tried other fundraising methods, including popcorn sales, but collecting money at the corner near a Walmart was much more effective.
Finley said the fundraising was to pay for a trip to College Station later this month for a state track meet.
"It's begging. It's panhandling. That's not fundraising," Blair said. "Fundraising is selling cakes, car washing, going cutting yards in the neighborhood, doing something where there's an exchange, where kids feel that they've honestly earned it."
Blair said he has seen police in Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie order kids to stop collecting money along streets. He said he reported an incident recently in Grand Prairie.
"When I called called 911, those Grand Prairie officers responded out there with diligence, got them out of that median," Blair said.
Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said Dallas has a law against panhandling on streets where safety is an issue, but a pending lawsuit has affected enforcement.