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Hit-&-Run Motorcyclist To Be Freed

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A St. Paul motorcyclist now admits he hit a little boy, and then rode off.

Twenty-five-year-old Ernest Jonas pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular operation. He was sentenced on Monday to five years probation for hitting 4-year-old Tyrell Baymon with his motorcycle on May 19th.

The little boy was holding his mom’s hand when he was struck. They were on their way to Como Park to celebrate Tyrell’s birthday. The accident critically injured the young boy.

Three months later, Tyrell is walking and playing again, although not nearly as well as he did before the accident.

Marcia Scroggins is just glad her son is alive.

“I’m just happy that he’s still here with me,” she said.

Marcia remembers holding his hand while trying to help him into the car before Tyrell was hit – propelling him through the air. He landed under a car.

Jonas was popping wheelies while driving recklessly on LaFond Street, just west of Western Avenue in St. Paul.

In court, his lawyer said that Tyrell ran out in front of him at the last minute. Later, Jonas himself said in court, “I apologize to Tyrell and his family. I didn’t mean to hit him.”

Jonas will actually get out of jail on Tuesday. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but because of the way jail time and sentences are calculated, along with time spent already, he’ll get out a day after his sentencing. He’s been there since turning himself into police the day after hitting Tyrell.

Marcella Scroggins-Phillips, Tyrell’s grandmother, is devastated by Ernest’s release.

“It just breaks my heart that that guy can go home tomorrow,” she said.

The judge told Jonas that what he did was “plain dumb” and obviously shows how dumb behavior can turn to something serious.

“You hit a kid and do what – a couple months in jail and you’re out? A couple months’ probation? That sucks,” said Marcia.

Tyrell fractured his skull, broke his ribs and suffered a brain injury. He doesn’t remember things well.

“I’m just thinking about now and the future,” said Marcia.

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