Mom asks Coon Rapids hit-run driver to step up

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS and KRISTIAN HERNANDEZ , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: June 14, 2012 - 10:49 PM

Nine-year-old son remains in intensive care after pickup hit him Wednesday as he rode his bike.

Speaking Thursday at the hospital where her son lay in critical condition with a brain injury, Ravesha Harris calmly resolved that the 9-year-old would open his eyes soon and return home to the family that hasn't left his bedside.

But when it came to delivering a message to the hit-and-run driver who struck Amir Taylor as he rode his bicycle outside his grandmother's house in Coon Rapids, Harris paused, attempting to hold herself together as a tear rolled down her cheek.

"Whoever you are, wherever you may be, that's my child, and just have the compassion to come forth, or to even say anything," she said at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. "Just imagine if that may have been you. I love my child more than anything on the face of this planet. Somebody, please say something.

"You know what you did. You are very aware that you hit a human being, and he is a human being."

Less than a day after Amir suffered major head injuries, police released more details about the pickup truck that they suspect struck him about 7 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Kumquat Street and 111th Avenue NW., near Moor Park.

They said the vehicle is possibly a black 1993 to 1998 Chevrolet Z71 with extended cab and short box. The driver's side was damaged and the side mirror was dangling, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

The driver is described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s with short blond hair and a "scraggly," unshaven face.

Harris said she and other family members have seen the pickup speeding through the area in the past.

The boy's uncle, Kahron Nix, 19, said he looked down for a second at his iPad after allowing Amir to ride off on his bike toward the park. The next thing he knew, a police car sped past the house in the same direction as his nephew.

"That's when I knew. I went in the house and put on some shoes. I just ran down there," Nix said. "My nephew was lying down, blood dripping from his mouth, his head swollen. He couldn't say anything; he was trying to move but wasn't responding."

Nix, a University of North Texas student who is home for the summer, said he is angry and baffled about the driver.

"I can see you getting scared," Nix said. "But you hit him and find damage on the front of the car and your side mirror dangling. To me, you left him to die."

Neighbor Matt Fussy said he remembers that there used to be dips in the road to prevent drivers from speeding, but said they were paved over during a sewer project about a decade ago.

There are no stop signs at the intersection where Amir was hit. However, authorities said Thursday the intersection was not known as being particularly dangerous.

Unlike any other boy

Harris and Amir live in Uptown Minneapolis, and Amir is scheduled to begin fourth grade at Lyndale Community School in the fall. Harris said her son always rides his bicycle, including to and from school, and usually wears a helmet, but it was accidentally left in his grandmother's car while they made the transition to a summer routine.

Harris said Amir suffered no broken bones or internal injuries, but is sedated for the brain injury. He hasn't opened his eyes but has shown that he can hear her voice, she said; even unconscious, she can see the son who she said is unlike other boys.

"We have a saying that if you meet Amir or you encounter Amir, he never makes a stranger," she said. "Everybody he meets is a friend. You'll be like, 'Where's this little boy coming from?' and he will be right there eating dinner with your family, and at the park swimming with your kids.

"He's a fighter and he's a believer -- he is so strong," she said. "I believe that he's holding on, and he's going to come back from this."

She cited the strength of family and friends, some not seen in years, who rallied around the boy in the intensive care unit. She paused again, fighting back tears as she commended the neighbors who came to her son's aid, and the strangers who have offered support and prayers.

"I've seen God work too many miracles in our life to even worry, or to be scared or afraid," she said.

Anyone with information is urged to call 763-427-1212.

Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report. Abby.Simons@startribune.com • 612-673-4921 Kris.Hernandez@startribune.com • 612-673-4217

  • related content

  • Ravesha Harris, mother of 9 year-old Amir Taylor, was comforted by a family member as she appealed to the driver who hit and critically injured her son to turn himself in during a news conference at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale on Thursday.

  • Amir Taylor, 9, was hit and critically injured by a driver who fled the scene in Coon Rapids.

  • This type of truck is suspected in a hit and run in Coon Rapids Wednesday night in which a 9-year-old boy was critically injured.

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