A Fort Worth mother did not wait for the police to investigate a hit-and-run crash that left her young son seriously injured.
Amiee Johnson took matters into her own hands, investigating the case and leading police to the possible suspect’s home.
Johnson and her supporters protested Monday afternoon with signs near his home, demanding those responsible be arrested and charged.
They are also voicing their anger at how police have handled the case.
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Fort Worth Police announced Monday evening that an arrest had been made in the case, but said no further information would be released since the suspect is a juvenile.
The hit-and-run happened Saturday evening in the 3200 block of Strong Avenue in Southeast Fort Worth.
Johnson said her son Josiah Dunn, who just turned 8-years-old, was riding his bicycle in their neighborhood when a truck speeding down Strong Avenue hit the boy as he crossed the street.
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Johnson canvassed the area, discovering that the incident was captured on her neighbor’s home surveillance camera.
The video provided to NBC 5, shows a child on a bicycle crossing Strong Avenue, then appears to be hit by the driver of a silver pickup truck who does not stop.
Johnson was inside when her older son ran in to say someone hit ‘Jo Jo’ and did not stop.
“I’m asking him what’s going on and he was just so, he just so limp,” said Johnson of the injured child. “We picked him up, he starts screaming saying: I can’t feel my legs! I can’t feel my legs, mama!’”
Josiah was rushed to the hospital with several injuries including a broken leg, a skull fracture, and swelling in his brain.
“Jojo is perfect,” said Johnson. “Jo Jo is strong and Jo Jo is a fighter and he ain't got no choice but to be a fighter because a fighter raised him.”
Johnson said that while police told her they would investigate the case they never contacted her neighbor to retrieve surveillance video.
So, she did it herself.
Johnson said recovered video from a neighbor and a nearby business showing the incident and the suspect’s license plate number.
Her family, she said, was able to track the registered owner of the truck to a home nearby.
She claims they saw the silver truck behind a tall fence on the property and called the police.
The truck was towed on Sunday, but no one was arrested.
Johnson expressed frustration at the lack of urgency she said police demonstrated.
“I am a civilian. How am I able to do your job in six hours? That’s something you could’ve done in an hour. My neighbors stay next door. The store is across the street. Everything I got, you could’ve got quicker than me,” said Johnson about police. “Why did I have to do your job for you? What did I have to be more concerned? If it was your child, what would you do?”
Johnson gathered friends, family, and community activists on Monday at the possible suspect’s home.
The group held signs demanding justice for the little boy.
Asked what she would respond to critics who question why she is protesting and not at her son’s side, allowing police to do their job, Johnson responded:
“My mother and his grandmother has him. I can’t fight for him in there [hospital]. I have to fight for him out here.”
A handful of uniformed Fort Worth police officers and a detective showed up at the family’s protest on Monday afternoon and spoke at length with Johnson, promising her the case was headed toward charges.
“When you get here, you want me to calm down,” said Johnson about police. “I can’t calm down because I did your job. I can’t calm down. But what I will do is stay right here until I get what I want: and that’s justice. I want them to be held accountable.”
The suspect, the police department later said in a statement, is a minor, and an arrest was made on Monday evening.
Because of his age, the department will not be providing more information.
A woman who said she is the suspect’s mother contacted NBC 5 over the weekend, complaining about the protest in front of her home.
The woman said her 15-year-old son took the family’s truck without permission and did not stop after hitting the child.
Anyone who has information or video of the incident is urged to call Detective Lockhard at 817-392-4886. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by contacting Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS. Report number: 210053976.