QUEENS – Police arrested the alleged dirt bike driver accused of critically injuring a 4-year-old boy in a Queens parking lot hit-and-run, NYPD officials said.
Argenis Rivas, 29, was charged Wednesday with assault, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, acting in a manner injurious to a child, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, operating an unregistered motorcycle and unlicensed operator.
The boy was with his parents when he was struck on Sunday night in the parking lot of Flushing Meadows Corona Park near Meadow Lake Trail at around 7 p.m., officials said. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Police said the boy suffered trauma to his head and body and lost consciousness after the collision.
Tuesday, officials said the boy’s condition was improving, though he remained critical.
Dirt bikes ripping through the city have been a growing concern. Community leaders and lawmakers recently proposed increasing penalties for anyone riding the illegal bikes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it’s challenging for the NYPD to enforce those rules.
“NYPD has been very aggressive. Years ago, confiscated a huge number of them and crushed them to make a point. They did that again a few months ago,” de Blasio said. “They’ll keep doing that. We need community members to help us find where they’re being kept so we can get them, seize them. If one’s out there, it’s immediately illegal. It’s just not allowed in New York City.”
Eight people have died in accidents involving dirt bikes and 350 have been injured so far in 2021, data shows.
“It’s a real serious issue,” he said. “My heart goes out as a parent to that family, and we’re hoping and praying for the best for that four-year-old.”