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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man who says he was behind the wheel of the Silver Mercedes that hit 15-year-old Javier Valdez as he crossed a busy street, Monday morning, has turned himself in.
Simeon Boykins says he was the driver who left Javier with head trauma, a collapsed lung and broken bones on Northwest 22nd Avenue near 79th Street.
Boykins has powerful relatives. His cousin is Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon.
“You can make the assumption that he was afraid, and out of that assumption then he comes to his senses when he comes to speak to my family,” Commissioner Hardemon told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
He added, “No one has to convince Simeon of doing anything. Once Simeon let our family know that he was going through this situation, we encouraged him to do the right thing, which of course he did.”
Hardemon says he grew up with Boykins, and though his cousin has had previous run-ins with the law, including convictions for drugs, he says he was raised properly.
“Now that he knows what he did. He knows it was wrong from the very beginning and he’s facing those consequences now.”
A look at Boykin’s Facebook page shows a post, about an hour after Javier was hit and left for dead, reading, Damn I really -expletive- up.
Hardemon went to Jackson Memorial Hospital Tuesday afternoon and tried to console Javier’s aunt, Elia Carranza, giving her his number and promising prayers for the teen.
“The comfort will come when my nephew feels better. There’s relief that he’s there, but my nephew is really all that matters,” she told Zea.
Javier’s grandmother Ruth Pasarell, who has custody of the young man says she is concerned whether Boykins will be treated like anyone else.
“Is he going to be treated differently because he’s related to a commissioner? Is he going to face the consequences of his actions?”
According to Boykins’ uncle, Boykin was driving with a suspended license when the accident happened.
Also, there’s some question about where the Mercedes involved in the crime came from. Commissioner Hardemon says that is not his cousin’s car.
Police have arrested Boykins who is being charged with driving with a suspended license while being a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) and leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries.