Suspect in hit and run recants story

May 20, 2008 4:57:54 PM PDT
There has been a shocking turn of events in the hit and run of a 9-year-old boy in Brooklyn. Police say the 16-year-old who said he was driving and fled the scene claims to have lied, saying he was covering up for the real driver.Nine-year-old Akeem Suluki died Tuesday, one week after being struck on his way home from school.

Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda has more.

The family took the little boy off of life support around 11 a.m. Tuesday, as they found out the original suspect said he took $10,000 to take the fall for someone else.

"We know he's in a good place now," father Ali Suluki said. "He's with his Lord, and he's in paradise now."

As the anguished family of critically injured Akeem Suluki said their goodbyes to him Tuesday, his devastated parents are dealing with the news the person who ran over their 9-year-old son may still on the loose.

Sixteen-year-old Shyquan Burns was arrested and charged with the crime after tearfully turning himself in at the 81st Precinct last Tuesday. But now, the teen claims he took the rap for someone else. He says he accepted a cash payout to confess for a 28-year-old parolee Burns says was really behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger that struck the fourth grader.

The car plowed into the boy just minutes after he'd gotten out of school. Witnesses say as he made his way into the crosswalk at Macon and Malcolm X Boulevard, the car ran a red light and hit him. The child was reportedly tossed 15 to 20 feet.

"That person needs to be caught," mom Khadijah Suluki said. "I don't feel that someone should take the rap for someone else, an older man at that."

The victim's mom had made a tearful plea for the hit and run driver to turn himself in. Later that night, the crying unlicensed teen made his confession, saying he heard a bump and kept driving.

Despite the teen's change in story, police say he remains the sole suspect and add they are not looking for anyone else.