FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While emergency crews tended to a 14-year-old boy suffering from a traumatic brain injury in the middle of a north side crosswalk this past July, a man accused of driving a Dodge Charger that collided with the boy’s minibike motorcycle handed a Fort Wayne police officer his learner’s permit.
Ten minutes later, police say, he was gone.
Now, the 18-year-old man accused of driving that Charger before fleeing the scene of the crash on St. Joe Center Road near Arlington Parkway North on July 2 is facing a felony charge.
Omarion M. Rogers is not only accused of fleeing the scene of the crash, but police say in newly released Allen Superior Court documents he refused to cooperate or answer investigator’s phone calls as they tried to piece together exactly what happened.
Allen County prosecutors last week charged Rogers with a Level 6 felony count of leaving the scene of an accident that causes moderate or serious bodily injury and infractions of operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility and a learner’s permit violation.
A Level 6 felony count carries a sentence of six months to 2 1/2 years in prison.
Rogers is accused of being behind the wheel of the Charger when it struck Dominic Peterson.
Peterson later told his parents he was on a Coleman mini bike using the crosswalk on St. Joe Center Road when the Charger struck him.
The crash left him with a brain injury, fractured ribs, a fractured right humerus, a fracture to the lumbar spine and an injured left shoulder. Medics listed him in critical condition at the scene.
Peterson’s parents told WANE 15 this past July their son had to be flown to Indianapolis for treatment days after the accident and that, as of this summer, they did not know if he will be able to regain movement in his left arm.
Since then, Peterson has been released from the hospital and is “100 percent” himself, according to his father, Dan Peterson.
Dan Peterson, though, said his son still does not have use of his left arm.
“I knew it was coming, but it took too long,” he said of a warrant being issued for Rogers’ arrest.
Shortly after the crash, officers who were first there spoke to Rogers, who handed them his state learner’s permit.
While officers tried to figure out what happened at the scene, rain began to fall, according to court documents. This caused officers there to try to document all that they could before the rain altered any evidence in the crash, court documents said.
While they did this, the officers allowed Rogers to sit in the vehicle of a family member or friend who had driven to the scene, court documents said. Officers told Rogers he was not to leave due to the ongoing investigation.
Along with Rogers, a passenger who had been in the Charger with him who had blood coming from his ear was also allowed to sit in this vehicle that belonged to a family member or friend while the officer documented the scene.
But within 10 minutes of this happening, police looked for Rogers and his passenger and found both had fled the scene in the vehicle belonging to the family member or friend.
Dan Peterson believes the “family member” in court documents was Rogers’ mother, though that has not been confirmed and no one else has not been charged with a crime.
“Of course I want him in jail,” Peterson said. “They didn’t care about my son, they didn’t call 911, they never asked how he was doing, they didn’t even care that he ran him over, and she took him away from the scene and didn’t bring him back.”
“They did not care that my son was lying face down in the road dying,” Peterson continued. “They didn’t give two thoughts about my son, so Rogers can spend as much time in jail as possible.” I would have some sympathy for him if they actually cared about my son. It makes me pretty angry they can hit a 14-year-old kid and leave him in the road and not think twice or care about him.
Multiple attempts were made to contact Rogers, but he refused to return to the crash area.
During one phone call shortly after Rogers left, he claimed he did not have a ride back to the scene. During other attempts, he refused to take phone calls. One officer who got him on the line said he would come and pick him up, but Rogers then hung up the phone.
On another call, Rogers claimed he was heading back to the crash scene with his aunt and mother, court documents said.
Rogers’ aunt and a woman who identified herself as Rogers’ mother did make the scene almost four hours after the crash, according to court documents, but without Rogers.
Both women demanded to know why investigators needed to see or speak with Rogers. The woman who identified herself as his mother refused to give police her name, and police informed her the details of the investigation would not be revealed to her.
Due to Rogers not coming back to the scene, police were unable to perform any chemical tests or take him to a hospital for blood tests to see if he was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, according to court documents.
In the ensuing days, investigators made other futile attempts to contact Rogers and ask that he cooperate in the investigation. He never did.
“I would have some sympathy for him if they actually cared about my son,” Dan Peterson said about Rogers and whoever drove him away. “It makes me pretty angry they can hit a 14-year-old kid and leave him in the road and not think twice or care about him.”
On Aug. 16, prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest.
Rogers is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.