and Katina Caraganis
LEOMINSTER -- As the mother of a teenage bicyclist struck by a car on Monday night pleads with the driver to come forward, police say they have identified a suspect in the hit-and-run accident.
Kendra Brown, the mother of 16-year-old Joshua Carillo, said her son's right knee and left leg were broken and he had tread marks on his legs after he was struck on North Main Street at about 9 p.m. Monday.
Leominster police confirmed Wednesday night they have a male suspect and are waiting for a warrant to seize his automobile and cellphone. The suspect, whose name was not released, has a revoked license and a violent criminal history, said Lt. Michael Goldman.
Police received a tip on Tuesday from someone who had been contacted by the suspect at around midnight on Monday, according to Goldman. The suspect told the tipster that he had blown out his tires on North Main Street in front of Tedeschi Food Shop and a Sullivan Tire and Auto Service after striking a curb and needed help.
The tipster contacted police after seeing media reports of the hit-and-run accident on Tuesday.
Police interviewed the suspect Wednesday, transporting him to and from the police station in a cruiser. The suspect told police he was home with his wife at the time of the crash that injured Carillo and that he damaged his vehicle in an unrelated accident on North Main Street.
Goldman said the suspect's vehicle has damage consistent with a car striking something. The suspect also had two tires replaced at Firestone in Leominster. The tires have since been seized by police.
The driver of the car not only struck Carillo, but took off and tossed the damaged bike over a fence, down an embankment and into the Nashua River.
Brown said she is amazed no other motorists stopped to offer her son help.
"There were three other cars right behind the first one," she said Wednesday. "He said at least 15 to 20 minutes later he flagged down a car and a lady let him call me."
Carillo's cousin, Dometric Ramos, 26, who was riding with him, tried to chase down the vehicle that struck Carrillo but could not keep pace, said Brown.
The teenager was riding a mountain bike with Ramos when they crossed North Main Street near the intersection with Moore Street as a car was making a right turn onto the side road.
The driver allegedly struck Carillo and then sped off with the bike still lodged under the car. He then stopped down the street, dislodged the bike and disposed of it in the river.
Police are collecting surveillance tapes from businesses along Main Street.
Brown is upset by comments on social media putting the blame on her son, suggesting he was hurt because he wasn't wearing a helmet or because he crossed in front of oncoming traffic.
"It really stresses me and makes me sad to think somebody could hit somebody and not stop," Brown said. "I would stop even if I hit an animal."
It is unclear whether he had lights or reflectors on his bike, according to police.
Carillo could come home from the hospital today.
Follow Jack Minch on Facebook, Tout and Twitter @JackMinch. Follow Katina Caraganis on Tout and Twitter @kcaraganis