WASHINGTON - A 7-year-old boy is in the hospital in serious condition after police say he was struck by a car in Southeast D.C. The driver has been identified as an 11-year-old boy.
Authorities say the crash happened in the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation (The ARC) parking lot near a playground on the 1800 block of Mississippi Avenue. Police received the call around 6:41 p.m.
"I cried. Like he’s too young to be going through something like that," said a woman who referred to the 7-year-old victim as her nephew.
The woman asked not to be identified. She tells FOX 5 the Kia stopped on the 7-year-old’s leg and that he was simply at the park playing at the time.
"It’s a TikTok trend, and it’s like the trend is just out of control," she added. "Who promotes kids to steal cars? And then, it’s young kids getting hurt, they’re on the playground playing. They don’t even feel safe in their own environment,"
The 7-year-old victim suffered from a serious but non-life threatening injury and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The aunt told FOX 5 that she believes — and others are also saying online — this incident is connected to a TikTok "Kia Challenge."
Various reports say a video posted to the social media platform is showing people how to start a Kia vehicle with just a USB cable.
Those reports say it’s turned into a TikTok challenge, which some are apparently using to steal cars.
D.C. police could not confirm this information.
A TikTok spokesperson tells FOX 5, "Content that promotes or enables criminal activity, including theft, is against our Community Guidelines and will be removed from the platform."
Police said that the 11-year-old was driving in the parking lot and was unable to hit the brakes before striking the 7-year-old and hitting a curb. He left the silver Kia at the scene of the crash and fled on foot. We do not know how fast the vehicle was driving.
D.C. police also confirmed the Kia had not been reported stolen. We’re told the 11-year-old driver and the vehicle's owner are not related.
Police said on Tuesday they will review this case with the D.C. Attorney General’s Office to determine whether charges should be brought.
"He probably didn’t mean to do it, but he still shouldn’t have been in the car. He still shouldn’t have been driving," said the woman FOX 5 spoke with. "It’s our young boys who’s supposed to make an impact, and show the next generation under them how to do stuff. Not steal cars and go out here and hurt each other. It should never be like that."