'A baby just got ran over:' 911 call released in hit-and-run that killed child

Suspect turns himself in

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A witness's blood-curdling screams can be heard in a 911 call placed moments after a man ran over a toddler, killing the boy, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.

The call was placed around 9 p.m. Thursday from a housing complex on the 400 block of North Charles Street.

"A baby just got ran over," the caller said. 

Crying, pleading and screaming can be heard in the background as the caller tells the operator that it was 22-month-old Ar'myis Ford who was hit by the green 2005 Chrysler 300.

At first, the operator was hopeful that it was the child crying, which would mean that he was breathing and conscious.

WARNING: The audio below could be considered distressing to some readers. User discretion is advised.

"No, he's not breathing," the witness replies.

About a minute into the call, the man says the driver of the vehicle -- identified by police as 29-year-old Earnest Ponder -- was running away.

"He's leaving, he's leaving," the caller says.

The operator urges the man to not confront Ponder. The call ends shortly after, once sirens can be heard in the background.

The toddler was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to authorities.

Police said Ponder turned himself in Saturday. He's facing charges of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Witnesses told News 6 that Ponder was playing loud music, which is why he couldn't hear them screaming to warn him that the child was by his vehicle.

"We was all yelling at him, trying to get him to stop. He had the music up, the windows up and he couldn't hear them, them yelling at him. And his mom was beating on the side of the car to get him to stop, and they couldn't do it," Jerry Sizemore said.

Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.