Car drives into crowd; DeSoto boy on life support

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on April 12, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 13 at 1:12 PM

DeSOTO — A 12-year-old DeSoto boy is on life support after being run over by a car.

Donte Johnson  —  or "DJ," as he's known — was standing outside his home at the Brookhollow apartments when a group of teenagers started fighting nearby.

Cellphone video shows the teens violently attacking one another in the street.

DeSoto police say 17-year-old Dominique Hemphill was one of them. On the video, he is seen getting into his car and driving into the crowd that had gathered.

He clips one teenager, but witnesses say he then ran over Donte Johnson, who was standing in the parking lot.

"It's sad when a little innocent kid gets hit for stuff that other people did," said witness Jaqualon Clayton." "He was innocent; he was just trying to get out of the way."

DJ's head injuries have left him in a coma, but his grandmother, Billie Washington, is holding out hope he'll recover.

"It's hard, it's really hard, but I'm still praying," she said.

DJ's family has been by his side at Children's Medical Center Dallas. The 12-year-old is a student at DeSoto West Middle School.

"He's innocent, a good boy, loves school, loves his friends... is friends with everybody," said his grandfather, Claude Washington.

DeSoto police arrested Dominique Hemphill and charged him with injury to a child. They are also considering charges against some of the other teenagers seen fighting in the video.

Detectives are looking for other witnesses who may have videotaped the incident.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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