July 21, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The NYPD is offering a $10,000 reward for information on the driver of an illegal motorized bike who struck and critically injured a 4-year-old boy at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Sunday.
The male driver was allegedly speeding on a dirt bike in the boathouse parking lot at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park when he slammed into the young boy at around 5:45 p.m. He raced off from the scene of the crash, despite knocking the boy unconscious, police said.
The child was rushed to Flushing Hospital with injuries to his head and torso. He was later transferred to Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center, where his condition is improving, but remains critical, police officials said Tuesday.
“Protecting our children is a fundamental component of traffic safety and today we are here asking the public for help,” NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the $10,000 reward.
She asked anyone who has information about the crash to call the NYPD’s crime stoppers hotline.
“No parent should have to endure such a senseless act,” Royster said. “This is an active investigation and detectives are combing the area to get information to the whereabouts of the suspect.”
The suspect is believed to be a man in his late 20s or teens and possibly Hispanic, she added.
Royster said the NYPD is also continuing its efforts to crack down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs similar to the one that struck the young boy.
“We are not going to tolerate these bikes being used on our streets,” she said. “As you can see when a 4-year-old child is playing in a parking lot and you have people racing in a parking lot with these illegal vehicles, it’s dangerous and something like this will occur.”
Residents at another Queens park were disturbed by a massive group of dirt bikes and ATVs just a few months ago. Roughly 100 such vehicles drove into Astoria Park in May and forced children playing at the skatepark to leave or face being run over, video footage shows.
Officers seized at least two dirt bikes in that incident.
Royster, meanwhile said, the NYPD has seized about 500 such vehicles in the last week or two, Royster said. The confiscated bikes are destroyed to prevent further use.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.