A Colorado man has been arrested and is facing attempted murder charges after he apparently intentionally ran down two young boys in his car and fled the scene on April 5.
The boys, ages 11 and 12, were walking home from playing basketball when they were run down by 21-year-old Oghaleoghene Atuno in an apparently premeditated attack. The boys, who were on the sidewalk at the time of the incident, were badly injured. One of the victims is recovering from a fractured skull.
Atuno is facing “attempted murder charges…after video showed him circling cul-de-sac several times before allegedly running 2 young boys over [with] his car,” CBS Denver News’ Dillon Thomas reported Friday. “Charges imply intent to harm.”
“Right now no evidence the boys knew what was coming,” Thomas added.
“State Patrol used surveillance video from homes and schools to identify the vehicle in the incident. After the image was released to the public, someone reported a similar vehicle at an apartment complex,” reported CBS Denver. “The vehicle matched the description, and belonged to Atuno’s mother, an arrest affidavit said.”
The suspect later confessed to law enforcement that he did commit the hit-and-run, though the motive for the crime has yet to be publicly identified. Atuno told authorities that he fled the scene because he was “scared,” the report said.
The 21-year-old is currently being held at Arapahoe County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He’s been hit with felony charges for vehicular assault and for leaving the scene, though more charges are expected to come as the investigation progresses.
CBS Denver’s report below:
Another alleged deliberate use of a vehicle to run over pedestrians occurred in Northern California Tuesday, when a Sunnyvale, California resident drove his car into pedestrians crossing the street and then drove onto the sidewalk, injuring a total of eight people, including a 13-year-old. Sunnyvale Police Captain Jim Choi told reporters Wednesday that their initial investigation has determined that the suspect “did intentionally try to run over the people” but they have found “no indication that this act in itself was related to an act of terrorism.”
“Some of the statements (from witnesses) show that the driver did not try to avoid the pedestrians at the cross walk, and there was no attempt to swerve, drive away or break,” Choi told reporters. The suspect’s family members say he suffers from PTSD after serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and that he acts erratically when he is off his medication.
The Colorado incident occurred a week before another apparent targeting of a child. At the Mall of America on April 12, five-year-old Landen Hoffmann, was targeted in an unprovoked attacked. “Hoffmann was at the mall with his mother on April 12, standing outside the Rainforest Café,” The Daily Wire reported Tuesday. “A man, later identified as 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, reportedly asked Hoffmann’s mother if he was in their way. She said no, and Aranda allegedly suddenly grabbed five-year-old Landen and threw him over the balcony, according to witnesses and mall security cameras.”
Aranda has since been taken into custody and charged with first degree attempted premeditated murder. The suspect went to the Mall of America on the day of the attack “because he had been rejected by women at the mall for several years and was looking to kill someone as revenge,” Aranda reportedly told authorities, noted The Daily Wire.