Mother of Boy Struck By Car Disputes Police Action
A Bethesda woman says police initially did not investigate the accident, though her son was injured. Police say the family didn't cooperate.
The mother of a 9-year-old boy who was hit by a car on River Road last week says a Montgomery County police officer failed to adequately investigate the incident and she will file a complaint. Police say the family would not speak to the officer at the scene.
The boy’s mother, Marina Bowsher, told Patch that though her son was injured, an officer told her he couldn’t find evidence of an injury, didn’t file a police report and threw away his notes.
Montgomery County police say the family declined medical treatment and didn’t allow them to speak with the boy at the scene, leaving them with no information to file a police report. After the family later contacted police, police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said an investigation was launched and completed, and police will issue a citation to the woman driving the car involved.
The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. Bowsher told Patch her husband was walking her son, daughter and a friend to school, along with the family dog. The family was crossing River Road in a crosswalk near Willard Avenue, headed to Westbrook Elementary, when Bowsher said an elderly woman began to take a left turn onto River Road.
“My husband saw her out of the corner of his eye, and thought, ‘She’s going to stop, right? She sees us, right?’” Bowsher told Patch. “At the last minute, he realized, ‘Oh my God, she’s not going to stop.’”
The man pulled the boy out of the way of the car, but Bowsher said the car struck her son on the leg. She said her son suffered abrasions and bruising. EMTs at the scene said they couldn’t find evidence of any broken bones, Bowsher said, so the family opted to take their son home, rather than to the hospital.
“There weren’t severe injuries – we were very, very lucky – but he was definitely in pain,” Bowsher said.
Later, Bowsher said, her son’s ankle began to swell, and the family took him to a doctor, who put the ankle in a cast.
When she contacted police to give them information on the injury, Bowsher said she was told the officer hadn’t filed a report and no longer had his notes.
“The officer said, 'There’s no report. I didn’t find an injury. There’s no impact,'" Bowsher said. “The officer refused to talk to us. He was like, 'As far as I’m concerned, it’s done.'”
Starks said that police had no information to file a report because the family didn’t speak with them at the scene.
Starks said that when the family later contacted police, Second District Commander Capt. David Falcinelli met with them and asked the police’s traffic sergeant to handle the investigation. The family was given a copy of the completed report, and police plan to cite the driver for failure to yield to a person in a crosswalk, Starks said.
“It’s certainly in their right [to file a complaint,]” Starks said. “In fact, we want to hear from people who have comments, compliments or complaints about any Montgomery County police officer or administrator, because if there’s something we can do different or if there’s something we’re doing wrong, we want to do better.”