An Akron elementary school parent has been identified as the motorist who fled after striking a kindergartner walking home from classes last week.
Shaune Chesney, 48, was identified as the hit-skip driver after witnesses recognized his car when he picked up his own child at Judith A. Resnik school this week, police said.
Chesney’s child and the kindergartner both attend Resnik, police said.
The Akron man was arrested Thursday afternoon, when officers stopped his Mercury Marquis just blocks away from the school.
Chesney pleaded not guilty Friday in Akron Municipal Court to charges of felony hit-skip and driving with a suspended license. He was being held at the Summit County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond set by Judge Katarina Cook.
His defense attorney, Paul Grant, could not be reached for comment.
LaCresia Shaw, whose 5-year-old son Joshua suffered multiple breaks of his left leg after being hit, said she is not seeking punishment for the driver. She only wants him to be accountable for his actions.
The fact he is a fellow parent “makes it even worse,” she said Friday morning.
“I keep wondering how this person would feel if the same thing was done to his child,” Shaw said. “You don’t expect this from anybody, but you certainly wouldn’t expect it from somebody who has their own children.”
Police say Chesney has denied he was the driver who struck Joshua on March 15 on Goodhue Avenue as the boy and his 9-year-old sister, Jadynn, made the one-block walk home from Resnik.
The girl told police the driver stopped long enough to apologize, then drove off, leaving Joshua wailing in pain. Tire tread marks were visible on Joshua’s tan trousers.
Surgeons used nail-like rods to repair his femur and tibia during a two-hour procedure at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Joshua is wearing a leg-cast and will have to use a wheelchair for the next two months. A follow-up surgery is planned in about a year.
Shaw, a teacher as Buchtel High School, believes Chesney probably fled because he was driving with a suspended license. Court records show this is Chesney’s third arrest for driving with a suspended license.
The suspensions were issued for his failure to provide proof of financial responsibility, as required by Ohio law.
Hit-skip is a fifth-degree felony that carries a maximum one-year prison term.
“I’m not really seeking punishment, especially if it was an accident,” she said. “I just want the person to admit what he did and be accountable. I don’t know the circumstances of his license suspension, but obviously he shouldn’t have been driving.
“The sad part is, had he stayed and told police what happened from his side, things may not be as bad as it probably is going to be for him now.”
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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