The Whitestone dirt bike rider who was charged in the hit-and-run collision that left a 4-year-old boy in critical condition was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Thursday, July 22, and records show the injuries suffered by the preschooler were far greater than initially reported.
Argenis Rivas, 29, was charged with felony assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other crimes for striking Jonathan Beuschamps in the parking lot of the Meadow Lake Boathouse at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Sunday evening, July 18.
On July 21, detectives with the Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested the reputed member of the notorious Trinitarios street gang who admitted to hitting the youngster after he ran out behind two parked cars, leaving him sprawled on the pavement with a head wound.
The criminal complaint, however, shows Beauschamp spent at least three days intubated on a respirator at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition.
The youngster was treated for a lacerated liver, suffered tremors and was monitored for seizures and he had bruising to his feet, calf, thigh, underarm and face. He also suffered a broken ankle in the collision.
Rivas was riding his illegal dirt bike at a high rate of speed when he struck the boy, and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said the defendant rode away from the scene and failed to stop to offer any aid to the child or to report the incident. Rivas’ own account of the collision, as quoted in the criminal complaint, was more nefarious.
“I was just riding through the parking lot. I wasn’t doing wheelies. I wasn’t racing anybody, I hit the kid with the front of the scooter, he ran out from behind the car,” Rivas said, before describing why he left the scene of the collision. “I don’t have a license, my friends got kind of scared because there was an aggressive crowd. I left with my friends in a gray Honda Accord.”
An eyewitness at the scene stated that Rivas nearly hit a person standing next to him.
“What began as a recreational Sunday in the park turned into a nightmare for a Queens family,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendant was illegally riding a scooter through the park when he recklessly hit a child and kept going. The city has seen an unacceptable increase in defiant drivers of all types of vehicles driving illegally and hurting people. It is time we stand together to prevent further harm.”
Katz sat in the courtroom during the arraignment, and the boy’s family left Queens Criminal Court without commenting.
Rivas was ordered held on $15,000 bail. If convicted, Rivas faces up to seven years in prison.