Mystery teen was with kid killed trying to cross I-4

Tampa, Florida -- 10 News has learned that the 14-year old who was hit and killed after being ejected from the Florida State Fair on Feb. 7 wasn't alone when he tried to cross I-4 in Tampa. The boy could be the missing link the family and the high profile attorney they just hired have been looking for.

"And those people that are out there that know the truth. They're out there," says attorney Barry Cohen says.

Less than a day after Cohen uttered those words we are learning more details about what happened to Andrew Joseph, III. He was an honor student at St. Stephens Catholic School and a star football player who was gearing up to graduate from the 8th grade.

The Florida Highway Patrol is still working to finalize their investigation and release its findings, but we do know around 8 p.m. Joseph was kicked out of the fair along with dozens of others for allegedly "wilding" which is where people run and throw things in the midway. He was then transported to Gate 4 of the fairgrounds along Orient Road by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Then, for some reason around 10:46 p.m., instead of walking underneath the overpass nearby along a sidewalk to get across I-4, he ran across the interstate.

Troopers say he almost made it across eight lanes of traffic only to be hit by an SUV in the outside lane near the Hard Rock Casino.

Now we're learning FHP says there was someone with Joseph who likely saw it happen and then took off. FHP investigators know who the boy is but they are still trying to track him down and so is Cohen.

"I'm asking for everybody who knew something...who saw something...who heard something that we could put this puzzle together," Cohen says.

Cohen and his investigator have already started interviewing teens he says were there.

Meanwhile, Joseph's family also wants the Hillsborough County School District to rethink Fair Day for students. The boy's father, Andrew Joseph Jr., says, "You can't go to Chuck E. Cheese without your parent. You can't get a cookie from Publix without your parent this is common sense. This is 101."

He and his wife are concerned that Fair Day happens on a weekday. Schools dole out free fair tickets to students encouraging them to attend even though many parents are working and can't chaperon.

Steve Hegarty, a spokesman for the school district says they are open to the idea, "The idea of calling it 'family day'. I think that falls very much in sync with the sort of thing that we're trying to encourage."

The family is also upset that a toxicology report was run on their son while his body was at the medical examiner's office and no tests were run on the person who hit their child.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol says, "There were no indications of any alcohol use whatsoever on the part of the driver. Blood draws can only be forced when a trooper has probable cause."

Which means if there's a reasonable suspicion of impairment, Gaskins says, even then, they must get a warrant first.

The fair has made some changes like tighter security. For kids with those free student tickets, they will have to be with an adult to get in after 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office has said they will not change the way they handle ejections.

"I'm not doing anymore interviews on the fair right now. I think we pretty much said everything that we're going to say on the fair for now. We'll be working on planning for next year's event," says Colonel Jim Previtera.


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