Arrest made in hit-and-run that left Hague boy, 6, in a coma
Police in The Hague detained a young man to determine if he was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Monday that left a six-year-old boy critically injured. The boy, Naoufel, suffered life-threatening injuries including a broken neck, and has been in a coma since the car crash, his family said.
The incident happened on Monday at about 8:30 p.m. on Loosduinseweg. The boy was with his father and sister about to cross the street at a crosswalk on their way to get a few groceries. The pedestrian traffic light turned green, and Naoufel sprinted across the street, a relative told Omroep West.
He was a few meters from the other side when he was struck by the vehicle. The driver continued westbound without stopping, police said. Initially, an alert went out for a light grey Peugeot 107, which was later revised to a face-lifted first generation Toyota Yaris. Authorities said they were specifically searching for a Yaris with front-end damage on the passenger side.
Then on Friday, police found a suspicious early model Yaris on Uitenhagestraat in The Hague. Photos from local media agency District8 showed police collecting evidence from gray Yaris with a black hood and bumper. The car had a broken right headlight, and damage to at least the right front wing and fender. The car also appeared to have three wheels that were the same, and a replacement front right wheel.
Op de #Uitenhagestraat in #DenHaag is de vluchtauto van de zware aanrijding op de #Loosduinseweg waarbij de 6-jarige Naoufel ernstig gewond raakte aangetroffen. Een 19-jarige man heeft zich bij de politie gemeld, hij is aangehouden en wordt verhoord. pic.twitter.com/wq1v1XmP6z— District8.net (@RedactieD8) October 7, 2022
"A 19-year-old man from The Hague has just reported to us. He is suspected of involvement in the serious collision," police said on Friday afternoon. The man was being kept in custody while detectives waited to interview him.
Naoufel was still being kept in a coma when family members spoke to Omroep West on Friday. "We are all very closely involved in Naoufel's situation. Every now and then he squeezes our hands and moves a little," said Tarik El Yahiaoui.
The man described Naoufel as being a happy, cheerful kid, who is both smart and mature. "We hope that one day he can get back to his old self." El Yahiaoui also said that the boy "knows very well that he cannot just cross the street, or run after a ball if it rolls into the street."
He added, "We are mostly angry. But the most important thing for us at the moment is how Naoufel is doing. That's where our concern lies."