A Hawke’s Bay man accused of hitting a five-year-old boy and driving off failed to appear in court today.
Joshua Manukapei Watson, 27, has been charged with failing to stop and ascertain injury on August 13.
Sergeant Clint Adamson said the Hastings man handed himself into Flaxmere Police station last week thanks to pressure from the community.
It is alleged he knocked Kayzah-Shae Wairama off his sister’s bike outside his Hastings home last Tuesday night.
The boy who suffered serious head injuries has been moved from the paediatric intensive care unit and is now in a stable condition at Auckland’s Starship children’s hospital. His father and grandfather are with him.
Police were making further inquiries to see if more charges would be laid. A car seized from Raleigh Pl was confirmed as the car involved in the accident, Mr Adamson said.
‘‘This is a result of really good co-operation between the Flaxmere community and the police. We got hold of the car and this guy’s name due to information coming from the Flaxmere community – so that’s a credit to them.’’
Kayzah-Shae’s mother Melanie Shillingford was relieved at the arrest.
Miss Shillingford’s family had been visiting the night of the accident. She had been looking after her 3-month-old daughter when an older son ran into the house saying that Kayzah-Shae had fallen off his bike.
The mother of seven hadn’t realised their driveway gate had been left open when their visitors arrived.
‘‘We usually keep it locked but we unlocked it while the family were here,’’ Miss Shillingford said.
The whole neighbourhood heard her scream when she found her son on the road, she said.
‘‘I had to scream to block out his screams.’’
Witnesses claim they saw the car stop further down the road briefly but then it drove off without checking on the child.
Kayzah-Shae knew not to go on the road but, Miss Shillingford said, he was an active little boy who had no fear.
A Hastings District Court registrar issued a warrant for Watson’s arrest because he failed to answer a court summons.
- © Fairfax NZ News