IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — A toddler with autism was injured after a driver hit the child before fleeing the scene near a South Bay shopping center, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said the incident was reported Wednesday evening in the parking lot of the Breakwater Shopping Center at 801 Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach.
The victim, identified as 3-year-old Josiah Hilario, was walking to get ice cream near the T-Mobile in the shopping center with his mother Tammy, when a car ran over his foot, Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Rader told FOX 5.
The car was described as a white vehicle, similar to the Honda CRV.
The driver attempted to flee the scene, according to Rader, but were stopped briefly by two witnesses to the incident.
Law enforcement said that witnesses chased the car down and banged on the back windows to tell the driver they hit the child.
Deputies believe that the driver heard the banging and shouting from the witnesses, as Rader said the driver slowed before driving off on Palm Avenue.
Josiah — who is diagnosed as non-verbal and at level three on the autism spectrum — sustained three fractures in his foot and ankle.
The driver and their car has not been identified by investigators at this time.
Detectives with the SDSO Traffic Investigation Division are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact the department.