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Dad: I forgive man arrested in hit-and-run death

Driver admitted to drinking that night, leaving the scene, driving without license

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Raymond McArthur
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Raymond McArthur

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The father of a 4-month-old boy killed just over week ago in a hit-and-run crash said he forgives the man who was arrested for leaving the scene of the accident.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Raymond McArthur, 38, admitted to running a red light on Stockton Street at Irene Street on Oct. 18 and hitting the vehicle Otha Williams Jr. was riding in with his father and mother. According to the arrest report, McArthur also admitted to drinking alcohol before driving and had marijuana in his system.

Otha (pictured) died at the hospital two days after the crash.

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"I done forgave him already because it was just an accident," said Otha Williams Sr., the boy's father. "What I would ask him is -- I forgive you because it was an accident. I'm mad about you drinking and driving. You know, I'm pissed off about that -- but why did you leave the scene?"

McArthur, who was taken into custody at his home, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing a death.

Williams said while he is relieved McArthur (pictured below) was arrested, he can't quite shake the anger and lingering questions about why someone would leave his 4-month-old to die in the middle of the road. Now that McArthur is in custody, Williams said he wants to meet with him face-to-face.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Raymond McArthur
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Raymond McArthur

"This little boy that you have took from me… you know, I can't get him back. He's gone. I can't get him back," Williams said. "He took my son away. My first kid. Otha Deonte Williams. He took my son away. And there were so many things I was going to teach him."

Williams said he'd hoped to pass on things his father and grandfather had taught him.

"I was going to teach him a lot of things. Be a mechanic, be an electrician, a carpenter," Williams said. "(How to) be a good man and a good father and a good husband."

McArthur is scheduled to be in court Nov. 12. He's being held on $250,000 bond.

According to police, McArthur's pickup truck was followed from the scene of the crash the evening of Oct. 18 to a Cherokee Street home. The arrest report said McArthur, who appeared to be under the influence, was detained at the scene.

Three days later, McArthur came to the Police Memorial Building with his attorney and admitted to driving the vehicle that struck Williams and his infant son, and that he had consumed alcohol, had no driver's license and left the scene of the crash, according to the arrest report.

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Williams, his son and others were taken to UF Health Jacksonville.

Williams maintains his son was in a child safety seat but wasn't properly restrained, but police said the baby was in his mother's lap at the time of the crash. A car seat was found in the car. There was no word from police if any charges would be filed for that violation.

Records from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles show McArthur had a DUI arrest in 2012, and citations for driving with an expired license and failing to obey a traffic signal.