A man accused of running down a 6-year-old girl in a Riverside hit-and-run has been arrested, police said Wednesday.
Deasha Butts spent her seventh birthday in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit with bruised lungs, bleeding from the brain, and a fractured pelvis and leg after she was struck Friday afternoon by a red utility truck as she crossed Iowa Avenue with friends and family.
On Wednesday, Brendan Garth Vinson, 48, was arrested and booked for suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Vinson is a construction worker from Jurupa Valley.
Members of the public helped investigators locate Vinson, CHP said in a written statement.
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Deasha and some friends were crossing Iowa Avenue when the pickup hit her. Witnesses said the man, described as heavyset in his 40s or 50s with a gray goatee, stopped, got out, and saw what he had done.
Neighbors of Vinson described him as a hardworking husband and father. They expressed disbelief that he could possibly leave a little girl badly injured in the middle of a busy roadway.
"He's a really nice guy. A nice neighbor. He's always very friendly and to hear this now? It doesn't seem like something he would do. Pretty shocking," one neighbor told NBC4.
According to Riverside County Court records, Vinson was fined at least twice in the fast for driving at an unsafe speed. He is currently jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.
The family of Butts has set up a GoFundMe account to help with her medical expenses. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.
Anyone with additional information was asked to call the California Highway Patrol' Riverside Area office at 951-637-8000 or Inland Division Investigation Service Unit at 909-428-5400.