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Father makes plea for justice for his only son

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Joe Mercado is in a coma.

Since June 14, he’s been in the intensive care unit at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, a hit and run driver struck Mercado as he walked near Broad Ripple.

“I just hope no one else has to go through it, it’s been a rash of these hit and runs in the Indianapolis area, it’s a terrible thing to go through,” said Joe Mercado Sr., Joe’s father.

Seven weeks have passed since the crash and no answers.

There were no witnesses on the scene, and cameras at a nearby convenience store didn’t catch the crime. Since then, Mercado’s family is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect.

During this difficult process, Mercado’s family has created a website giving updates on the 45-year-old’s condition.

Here is what some of Mercado’s family members posted on a website:

Joe is the toughest person I know. Physically, he is able to handle much more than the average person and has an intensely high pain tolerance. During the few windows when he was responsive, he assured the nurses it didn’t hurt when they moved his legs, which had been broken repeatedly and which obviously would have been crushingly painful to move. This is the way Joe is. All his life, he has been playing extreme sports that consistently resulted in broken bones, smashed teeth, torn ligaments and stitches. We of the general population would consider his activity choices risky and probably even stupid. For Joe, they were fun. Frankly, his doctors did not think he would live beyond the first week of the accident, and what’s more, most people don’t stay alive long enough to develop DIC, yet alone show signs of improvement against it.

24-Hour News 8 returned back to the scene where the crime happened. Residents were in disbelief after learning about the hit and run.

“I find that hard to believe. I find that hard to believe, that’s another human being,” said a man walking by the scene.

Crime Stoppers is actively taking tips. Call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.