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Parents of 4-year-old hit-and-run victim filled with emotion as driver is arrested

The parents of the 4-year-old Jace Contreras who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, talk about the emotions they felt when they heard about the suspect's arrest.

The man accused of hitting a 4-year old with an SUV sits in a jail cell Tuesday night, nearly a month after the crime.

Joshua David Avila, 32, is accused of hitting Jace Contreras while Jace was buying ice cream at an ice cream truck. Police say they got a tip about who he was, then he turned himself in.

“It closes the book, it adds closure to our story,” said Jace’s father, Jacob Contreras. "I was super happy for sure, I mean, me and my wife were jumping up and down and we were super-excited. But you think about it like, man, it took you this long to confess?"

"I can't just understand why it took him this long, or if he even thought about Jace. I'm just really happy that they have him,” said Jace’s mother, Corina Contreras.

Jace's parents said the El Paso Police Department would call and update them every day. On Tuesday, when they finally saw the picture of the man accused of hitting their son and driving away, they were filled with emotion.

"I was kind of mad, just because you get to see the guy for the first time,” Jacob said.

"I honestly thought this would never happen to my family. When I first saw my son, it's just an indescribable feeling,” Corina said. “It's so much hurt and heartbreak. I thought I lost Jace that day."

His parents said Jace is making an incredible recovery.

"Jace is doing very well. He is walking. Both of his legs are recovering very well,” Corina explained. “His head, the skull fracture that they said that he had, they said that it would heal on its own. Other than that, the stitches have gone away, the road rash has gone away.”

His parents said Jace knows and understands what happened to him, but he's still his regular happy self.

“There’s been times we’re walking on the street, and he wants to cross the street and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to cross the street! Let’s just not take the chance.’ Then he’ll be like, ‘Dad, I’m not scared no more! I’m okay! Look at me, I’m okay!’ And then I’m like, ‘Aw, man, okay, let’s do it, then!’ You know?” Jacob said.

"I wanted to thank the El Paso community. I felt like we were going through this alone. But everybody's love and prayers for Jace, people I don't even know, it really touched my heart. And it made the recovery a lot easier for Jace,” Corina said.

Avila is in jail right now on a $3,000 bond.

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