The Colony PD: Boy, 13, hurt after man intentionally drove into group of teens

The Colony police say a hit-and-run crash over the weekend that targeted a group of teens was intentional and a case of mistaken identity.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon near the intersection of North Colony Boulevard and Paige Road. A 13-year-old boy is hospitalized and still recovering.

The boy’s dad says he is very thankful for people who witnessed the incident who didn’t just help with first aid but also helped lead police to the suspect.

When the sun came out Saturday afternoon after a rainy morning, a group of young teens ventured out to the city skate park.

Police say while waiting to cross the street at the corner of North Colony and Paige, a car driven by 22-year-old Nels Hogberg drove straight at the kids. He hit one of them.

“He turned his vehicle around and went straight for them,” said The Colony Police Officer Rick De La Cruz.

Larry Williams lives near the intersection and went out and saw a group of people trying to help an injured 13-year-old Ethan Bezich.    

“He was in a lot of pain on the ground there,” Williams said. “I don't know what kind of condition he was in at that time.”

Paramedics arrived and took Ethan to the hospital with non-life threatening but serious injuries.

Meanwhile, police say Hogberg drove off with a bike Ethan sitting on still underneath his car. Neighbors pointed him out and police caught him a block away.

“They were actually Johnny-on-the-spot directing, giving us the directions of their travel,” De La Cruz said. “And we were able to maintain the suspect in sight and able to get him.”

Police arrested Hogberg on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators say he thought the kids were someone else.

“Apparently, he had a previous incident that occurred earlier in the day and he mistook these kids for the incident that occurred,” De La Cruz explained.

Meanwhile, Ethan underwent surgery on Monday. His father, Ivan Bezich, said from the hospital room that it will likely be a six-month recovery.

“He's still in pain of course because he had a major surgery, but his humor is better,” Ivan said. “He ordered some food already.”

Ivan’s concern is now not only for his son but for his friends who witnessed what happened.

“They all know what happened,” he said. “They all know they were targeted and definitely they are traumatized.”

Hogberg is being held in The Colony jail and is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay Ethan's medical expenses.