Police on Wednesday were pleading for witnesses to help them track down members of an angry mob that beat a man to death after the car he was riding in apparently struck and injured a child.
Investigators were struggling to piece together what happened when David Rivas Morales died Tuesday defending the driver from members of a crowd.
There could have been anywhere from two to 20 attackers, Austin Police Commander Harold Piatt said. (Watch what Morales’ sister said about the blow to his face Video)
The car in which Morales, 40, was a passenger had entered an apartment complex’s parking lot when it struck a 2-year-old boy, Piatt said. The boy was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver got out of the car to check on the child and was confronted by several people, Piatt said. When they attacked the driver, Morales got out of the car to protect the driver and was attacked as well. Police said no guns or knives were used.
The driver got away and is cooperating with investigators. Police identified the child as Michael Hosea Jr.
So, let me get this straight. A car hits a kid. The driver stops. Gets out of the car to check on the kid, and is attacked? The driver — whether out of carelessness or just a mistake — hits a child with his car, but then actually does the right thing by stopping to check on the child. And is attacked.
The passenger gets out of the car and tries to stop the mob from killing the driver, who got out of the car to check on the child, and ends up dead?
Margaret Morales said a young boy came to her door to tell her that her brother was lying on the ground outside. She found David Morales, sprawled on the pavement 100 feet from her townhouse, battered and choking on blood.
She said her mother came running after hearing her screams, but police wouldn’t let either of them get close to him.
Police arrived one minute after receiving a 911 call, by which time the beating had stopped, Chovanetz said. But the Morales family complained that medical help was slow in coming.
Chovanetz said witnesses told police that three or four men attacked Morales, knocking him to the ground. A man got out of another vehicle and hit Morales again, Chovanetz said.
It’s hard to come up with words to describe what’s wrong with this story, but it should make people stop and think if they consider that Morales would probably be alive right now if the accident had been a “hit-and-run,” and the driver had not gotten out of the car to check on the child. If he’d just hit the child and driven off, a man would be live right now.
I hope the people responsible for this are found and put way for a long time.
Lesson here? Apparently, doing the right thing can get you dead.