One of two suspects in a hit-and-run accident that killed the 16-year-old boy over the weekend was in court on Thursday. Hunt’s family said they were thrilled to see an arrest in the case, but were still struggling to fill the void left by the loss of their son, who was in first grade at Bogan High School in Chicago.
“He took a life,” said Stephanii Halloway, Hunt’s mother.
Halloway and her husband are still trying to make sense of the hit-and-run that killed their son.
“It’s been a challenge man…ups and downs…angry…just trying to get through it day in and day out,” Hunt’s stepfather Hakeem Adams said.
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Hunt died in surgery after police said he was hit by a Cherokee jeep Saturday night as he crossed Route 83 on Central Avenue in Burr Ridge. Police said an anonymous tip led them to 18-year-old Woodridge resident Marvin Mejia, the driver of that jeep.
“It has affected all of us and I can tell you that it has affected these detectives and officers here who have been working non-stop because of the circumstances of this case of this young man who lost his life,” said the head of the department of Burr Ridge Police, John Madden.
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The family said Hunt was trying to get a ride from his father’s home in Burr Ridge to his home in Chicago’s Parkview neighborhood when he was fatally beaten.
Hunt’s family said they learned of his death when they called his phone on Sunday and a police officer answered.
“He was a loving brother and a caring person,” Tonyai Bennett, Hunt’s little sister, said through tears.
Mejia now faces one count of failing to report an accident resulting in death, which is a Class 1 felony. A judge on Thursday set bail for Mejia at $50,000, but Hunt’s family won’t is not very happy with it.
“I disagree with that because you can be charged with drugs and your bond is $5,000,” Adams said. “So one person died behind this incident and then you fled the scene.”
Prosecutors also said Mejia called the state’s attorney’s office when he realized he had been involved in the accident.
“They said he surrendered yesterday… The accident happened on the 5th so what is it… four, five days later? We will never know if he was drunk… We’ll never know what was going on in his head,” Adams said.
Police said witnesses described two possible suspicious vehicles. One is a dark colored SUV, possibly a 2014-18 Jeep, with damage to the front passenger side. The other vehicle was a dark colored SUV, possibly a 2013-15 Toyota, which may have front and right side damage. Investigators said they were also looking for a dark-colored Acura SUV with Wisconsin plates that was seen leaving the area.
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“There was talk of a third vehicle that stopped and drove away. We don’t know the involvement of that vehicle or if it was just a witness who didn’t want to stay behind. been described as a dark Acura SUV with Wisconsin license plates,” said assistant chef Marc Loftus.
Police did not say if another driver was apprehended, but added that anonymous tipping, media coverage, Burr Ridge police and a DuPage County task force all played a role in the arrest. .
“This is about the good work of the police in a tragic situation,” Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso said. “That’s what this story is about this morning.”
Police continued to comb through surveillance footage, urging businesses along the highway to come forward with any further footage to help shut down Hunt’s family.
“A 16-year-old boy crossing the street, minding his own business, and someone hitting him and not stopping to offer help, it’s disturbing,” Loftus said.
“Please surrender. Release this guilt and just surrender,” said Venessa Calvin, Hunt’s grandmother.
Anyone with information about the drivers and vehicles involved in the accident is asked to contact the Burr Ridge Police Department at 630-323-8181. You can also send information by sending an anonymous text message to 888-777. Begin your message with the word TIP followed by BRPDCRASH.
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