DENVER — It was a horrific ending to a horrible year for the Antone family in southwest Denver.
Little Sage Antone, and his father, Armando Antone, were returning home from a quick trip to the store, when a hit-and-run driver struck and killed the 3-year-old.
"I'm lost without him," Armando said. "I lost the special person in my life."
The father and son were crossing S. Lowell Boulevard, just south of Morrison Road, when Sage was struck by a Chevy pickup.
Armando said he grabbed Sage and tried to get him out of the way, but wasn't fast enough.
"I should have just wrapped myself around him," he said.
Sitting next to a growing memorial of toys, stuffed teddy bears, flowers and candles, Armando said there is so much about Sage he's going to miss.
"Greeting him in the morning, making him breakfast and washing his hair," he said. "Watching him take a nap."
Police tweeted about the incident, which happened between 6:30 and 7 p.m. New Year's Eve.
#DPD #TRAFFIC Officers on scene at S Lowell Blvd & Morrison Rd on a driver of a vehicle that collided with a pedestrian. The pedestrian died as a result of their injuries. The driver and vehicle fled the scene, Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, 720.913.STOP pic.twitter.com/Ik2Am2sMNd— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) January 1, 2021
David Orozco, an employee at the nearby Panaderia Contreras, was just leaving work. He was walking toward his truck, when he heard a crash and ran out to the street.
"I was scared," he said through an interpreter. "I thought maybe an animal or a person was hit... and I saw this boy lying on the ground."
Orozco told Denver7 he couldn't believe the driver kept going.
Early New Year's Day, Denver police tweeted that the suspect and his vehicle were located in Aurora.
They identified the suspect as 23-year-old Jordan Montiel-Velazquez.
Sage's father said he's glad an arrest has been made.
"All I can say is he needs to man up, and what 'man up' means is you did something wrong. Don't BS about it, just be a man about it," he said.
Police say Montiel-Velazquez is currently being held for investigation of leaving the scene of an accident.
They say it will be up to the District Attorney's office to determine what charges, if any, will be filed.