Person of interest questioned in Deerfield hit-and-run crash that critically hurt 12-year-old boy, police say

ByLiz Nagy, Sarah Schulte, and Jesse Kirsch and Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Chase Thompson Deerfield hit-and-run: person of interest questioned in crash that critically injured 12-year-old boy
Deerfield police said a person of interest has been apprehended and a vehicle seized in a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 12-year-old boy.

DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Deerfield police have apprehended a person of interest and seized a vehicle in a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 12-year-old boy.

Police said Wednesday they had seized the car believed to be the one that hit Chase Thompson Friday night in the area of Deerfield Road and Beverly Place, resulting in severe injuries. The vehicle is being investigated and police are interviewing a person of interest.

Law enforcement officials did not provide additional information about the vehicle or person of interest, citing the ongoing investigation. No charges have been filed, as of early Wednesday evening.

Thompson's family is offering a $10,000 reward to go toward the offender's legal expenses if the driver turns him or herself in.

The family of Chase Thompson promised that the $10,000 will go toward the offender's legal expenses if the driver turns him or herself in.

Police said the boy was struck Friday night at about 7:10 p.m. Police arrived on the scene and found the boy unresponsive in the roadway with extensive injuries. The vehicle that struck him fled the scene, police said.

The boy was transported to Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and then to Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, where he remains in critical condition and medically sedated.

"I feel like it is my fault because I let this happen to my kid," Thad Thompson, father.

RELATED: Boy, 12, critically injured in Deerfield hit-and-run; police searching for suspect

Chase's father said he suffered broken bones, injuries to his lungs and facial trauma.

"I love him more than anything in the world," Thompson said. "He is the sweetest kid. He tries so hard to be good. But I never have had a conversation with him because he is nonverbal and does not understand much of things."

A stock image of a Ford Escape, similar to the one police said hit a 12-year-old boy in Deerfield.
Deerfield police

Thompson said Chase, a sixth grader, has autism and is nonverbal. He said the boy managed to escape from the home without the family noticing before the crash.

"He ran out into the street in his bare feet with his fingers in his ears. He just didn't know what was going on," Thompson said. "It happened in a matter of seconds."

Police previously said the vehicle involved was a dark-colored 2013-16 Ford Escape, possibly with heavy damage to the passenger side headlight and fender areas. Detectives found pieces of the SUV, which has a titanium trim, in the road.

The boy's family is not blaming the driver for the crash, but for leaving their son.

"The driver who hit him, you did nothing wrong until you left. Our son came from behind the bushes. Unless they were impaired or on their phone, they did not have a chance," Thompson said.

Thompson told ABC7 Chicago that the SUV that hit his son was caught on a neighbor's home surveillance camera. Detectives are now reviewing the footage.

In the meantime, Thompson hopes the driver will do the right thing and go to police.

"We understand that this was an accident," Thompson said. "You made a massive mistake in a moment of fear."

"A big part of the reason we need you to come forward is the insurance," he added. "If you don't come forward, Chase's future medical bills are going to be a lot more difficult for us to handle."

Deerfield Public Schools District 109 said counselors will be available in schools to talk to any students who need help.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Deerfield Police Department at (847)-945-8636.