Slidell man arrested for hit-and-run of toddler

Slidell man arrested for hit-and-run of toddler

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - A Slidell man was arrested Friday after he struck his 21-month-old cousin in the driveway of a home, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.

Police say around 5:30 p.m, 44-year-old Derrick Populus arrived at the family's house while the child was playing outside. He notified family members that the child had been struck by a vehicle and was lying injured in the driveway. He did not tell them he was the one who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that struck the child outside the home on Malter Lane.

After notifying family that the child had been injured, Populus left the residence. Family members brought the child to Slidell Memorial Hospital. He was later airlifted to Children's Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

After speaking with family members at the scene, officers went to Populus' home to question him. Populus told police that the child was already lying in the driveway when he arrived at the Malter Lane residence.

Populus was questioned again Saturday, and this time admitted that he was the one who struck the child. He was arrested for felony hit and run and was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. His bond has not yet been set.

The child's condition has since improved and he was moved from ICU to a regular room on Sunday.

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