SPRING LAKE PARK, Minn. (KMSP) - Family members are calling for justice after a Spring Lake Park man, who was taking the family dog out for a walk, was hit by a vehicle and left for dead in the street.
“My dog was on top of my brother just dead,” said Jasmine Ring, the man's sister.
Jasmine Ring was driving with her sister, Shawntae James, to their mom's house in Spring Lake Park last week when they drove past a crash scene near 79th Avenue Northeast and University Avenue.
“I look over and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Shawntae that’s Shawn’ and we both go racing out of the car and there was a woman who was with him and she said, ‘Don’t touch him he’s barely breathing,’” said Jasmine Ring.
Their 22-year-old brother, Shawn James, was clinging to life after he was hit by a vehicle just minutes before. A good Samaritan was attending to him. The family's dog, Baxter, was deceased.
“It’s something that I wouldn’t want anyone else to see—it’s nerve wracking and I panicked, something I never want to see again,” said Shawntae James.
Shawn James had apparently taken the dog for a walk and was hit by a man driving home with his six-year-old child in the car. The driver, who has not been arrested or charged, apparently got out of his car to check on Shawn and then took off from the scene. He later pulled into a gas station and called police.
A spokesman for the Anoka County Sheriff's Office told Fox 9 the driver reportedly told investigators he left because he thought Shawn was going to rob him.
“There’s no way he should have left,” said Brenda Ring, Shawn’s mother. “How can you say he was going to rob you—you hit my son and you saw him laying there—it’s very hard, very hard.”
Shawn James now has two broken legs and a severe brain injury. He is struggling to talk and is facing a difficult road back to health. His family wants the man behind the wheel held accountable.
“I would like that man to have a very hard, hard punishment for this,” said Brenda Ring. “He left my son for dead. If it wasn’t for those witnesses - even the detectives said he was barely breathing when they got there.”
The man who hit Shawn James is cooperating with police. Detectives say he was not impaired; it's unclear why he hit Shawn.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation and could refer charges to the attorney's office.