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Child Injured in Hit-and-Run; Driver Arrested After Fleeing Scene

Posted April 13, 2008
Updated April 14, 2008

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— A driver was facing charges after hitting a 7-year-old boy with his vehicle Sunday evening in Johnston County, police said.

Witnesses said Marcus Lassiter was crossing Heath Road with a friend when he was struck at about 6 p.m. He was taken by helicopter to Duke University Hospital for treatment.

Relatives said the boy's leg was broken and he had brain damage. He was expected to undergo surgery Monday.

The driver of the vehicle, Pollo Hernandez Rodriquez, got out of his car and ran away after hitting the child, police said. He was later arrested.

Residents WRAL spoke with said the speed limit is 45 mph, but motorists often drive much faster. A resident WRAL interviewed said he has seen Rodriquez speeding through the neighborhood before.

“I’ve seen him speeding through here. My guess is he's doing at least 60 mph, no less. That’s a little fast for all the houses around this development,” Rob Hamilton said.

There were conflicting reports Sunday night as to whether Marcus was in the street or on the shoulder of the road when he was hit. One witness said the car swerved off the road and hit the child.

"He was just lying in the road. He wasn't moving or anything. They just ran out and grabbed him and carried him in the house,” witness Milton Barnes said.

"Everybody was just praying and seeing if he would live and if he would get to the hospital and be OK,” witness Ryan Hamilton said.


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  • CarolinianByChoice Apr 14, 2008

    This story does not indicate the legal status of the suspect, therefore we are disapproving all comments that "assume" he is in the United States illegally . . . . . Angela Connor, GOLO Managing Editor.
    My comments posted earlier [which are now mysteriously gone] stated the crime committed by this person was heinous whether that person was here legally or not. In no way did I make an assumption the person was here illegally but my comments were removed anyway. So I guess the GOLO staff squinted REALLY HARD, then read their own meaning into my comment (which was pretty clear so I don't know how they could have misconstrued it)and decided to elminate it - - Its a waste of time to take the time to express your opinions in a fair manner when the GOLO staff seems intent on trying to prove the only opinions that count . . . are theirs.

  • mike honcho Apr 14, 2008

    I'm sorry I use such a general term as "Hispanic" but on an arrest form there are blocks for White, Black, Hispanic, Asian
    Indian, or other.

  • crick127 Apr 14, 2008

    People keep mentioning Hispanics and the "hispanic issue" Mexican does not equal to hispanic. Cuban, puerto ricans (which are all us citizens as PR is part of the US) ecuadorians, argentinans, chileans, guatemalens, uruguayans, peruvians and many, many more are considered hispanic, the vast majority of which are not known for having drinking problems. These places are very different and have many different cultures and backgrounds such as white european, black, indian, etc. If you want to say that mexicans are drunks, fine, but do not include the rest of hispanics with them. Just because a lot of mexicans come here illegally does not mean that the rest of the hispanics do. It's like saying that since Irish people are know to drink, then all whites are drunks.

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 14, 2008

    Mike Honcho gave an interesting stat. I like many of you think that it has gotten out-of-control. We are reading too many reports about Hispanics doing this type of stuff. Sounds like he will be put away for a while. God Bless the child, and all family members.

  • NCGal Apr 14, 2008

    When was the car reported stolen? Before or after he ran over this child?

  • mike honcho Apr 14, 2008

    Unacceptable behavior, if ignored long enough, becomes acceptable behavoir.

  • wiseowl Apr 14, 2008

    and now it looks like he's a murderer...

  • mmania Apr 14, 2008


    The Hispanic issue is becoming too sensitive to talk about, which is a bad.

    If you ignore a problem it doesn't just go away. I think more people need to speak out on this on going problem and get law enforcement and our elected officals to do something about it.

  • Spartacus Apr 14, 2008

    Tomorrow, when the news surfaces that the man IS in this country illegally, WRAL will NEVER mention a word about it.
    YOu can count on that.

  • Spartacus Apr 14, 2008

    Angela, why have a discussion forum if you don't let people discuss it? Just shut down your little propoganda machine.