EXCLUSIVE: Father of Brownsville hit and run victim says son's death hit him 'like a ton of bricks'

BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Eyewitness News is learning more about the man who was killed by an out-of-control driver in Brooklyn.

On Sunday, police arrested the driver who hit 21-year-old Michael Joefield, who was rollerblading. Police say the driver was drunk and tried to flee the scene.

Joefield's father, Hamza Abdul Aziz says he was supposed to be with his son the night of the crash, but instead he learned his son was killed by watching the newscast.

"I happened to watch my TV, and I saw the rollerblade on the street, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I said, 'let me call my son, and make sure it's not him," Aziz said.

Joefield was just minutes away from home when he was struck and killed.

"No problems - no drinking, no smoking. I mean, very down to earth young man, you know? Very helpful," Aziz says.

Aziz says his son loved to rollerblade, and also loved mixed martial arts. Joefield's MMA instructor says he was a young man with many passions, and an enormous heart.

"Wow, he was such a great kid. From the very first day, I'd seen that he was very educated, academically inclined. He wanted to be an avid archer. He took up archery with us. He was optimistic about learning the martial arts with his Dad. He wanted to find a way how he could bond with his father, so we helped him with that process to bridge the gap between him and his Dad," says Najee Hassan.

His father says Joefield was halfway through Medgar Evers College, studying to be a veterinarian. He had a job, was in school, but most importantly, his father says he was a good person.

"I couldn't wish for anything better, a batter son. And I was blessed, truly blessed to have a great son," adds Aziz.

Police arrested 37-year-old Terrance Smith for the crash that killed Joefield and injured five others by Glenmore Avenue and Powell Street in Brownsville. Police say Smith tried to flee on foot, but was apprehended a short time later.

In fact, his father says he was supposed to go to an MMA class that Saturday with his son, but stayed home because he was too exhausted.
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