PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A chance encounter led to the arrest of a man suspected in a hit-and-run accident in Pasco County.
Security camera video shows the accident, where an SUV slammed into a truck and then into Johnny Walsh Jr., 14, as he was riding his bike.
A mosquito control worker spotted the SUV in a field and called the Florida Highway Patrol on Wednesday.
Investigators believe the SUV was involved in the accident and they identified Christopher Try, 20, as a person of interest in the case.
A few hours later, the brother of Johnny Walsh Jr. just happened to be at a McDonald’s, not far from his home and the scene of the accident, when he heard a man talking about the hit-and-run on his cell phone.
“He was talking on the phone and I heard him talking about it. He said that, he was like, ‘yeah, did you hear about the hit-and-run’ and then I don’t know what the other person said, and then he said, ‘yeah, I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t really mean to do it. I was just really messed up. I was in a bad time,'” said Damari Stacey, 16.
Stacey said he wanted to punch the man, but called 911 instead. Pasco deputies arrested Christopher Try a short time later.
“I thank the lord that we got him because now me, my brother and my family, we can go outside knowing that we are safe, that he’s behind bars,” said Stacey.
Try made his first appearance in a Pasco County court on Thursday. He said nothing as a judge read the charges against him and set bond.
The Florida Highway Patrol is still looking for Kevin Wilson, who is also identified as a person of interest in the case. They are still actively investigating the crash and the owner of the SUV.
“These are acquaintances, friends, there are ties together. The case right now is still ongoing, still being looked into by FHP troopers, trying to determine who knew what and when,” said Sergeant Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol.
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