Several people ambushed a pickup truck driver immediately after he ran over a 4-year-old boy who was crossing a street with other children in Winona, authorities said Tuesday.
The 18-year-old driver and the boy were both treated at a hospital for their injuries, which were not considered life-threatening, police said.
In the meantime, officers were continuing their efforts to find the people who tried to take the law into their own hands late Monday afternoon when they reportedly descended on the driver and started hitting and kicking him, police added.
The driver, whom authorities are not identifying out of concern of “any possible further retaliation,” suffered scrapes and a chipped tooth from the attack, according to a police statement. No details have been released about the boy’s injuries.
According to police:
Four children were returning home from soccer fields at Maplewood Townhomes and crossing Druey Court in the middle of the block between Kraemer Drive and 7th Street.
Three of the kids made it across before the teenager from nearby Altura struck the 4-year-old with his pickup truck.
“The driver stopped to check on the child and was approached by a group of individuals who … pushed the driver to the ground and started hitting and kicking the victim,” a statement from police read.
Estimates of the number of attackers have ranged from three to 10, police added.
There are 91 units in Maplewood Townhomes, a complex for low-income families that is operated by the Winona Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
Linda Bedtka, the housing authority’s executive director, said there has not been a problem with children crossing the street where they shouldn’t after playing at the soccer field or the basketball and tennis courts, “but obviously we’ll be looking at that now with the city as far as some sort of signage or speed bumps.”