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Help sought in finding Halloween hit-run driver

Aiesha Daniels was walking along N 36th Street with her two children.

They had bags of candy in their hands _ it was Halloween night and they were trick-or-treating.

In the distance, Daniels spotted a Ford Taurus. The car drove closer. And closer.

"I realized that this car was not stopping," she said.

She pushed her 7-year-old son, Montra Harmon, out of the way.

But Daniels and her 4-year-old daughter weren't so lucky.

Daniels hit the hood of the car and rolled onto the ground. She remembers watching as the car struck Mahhagnee Harmon, her little girl.

As the car drove away, Daniels lay on the ground.

"I had to jump up and get my baby," she said.

Blood was pouring out of the girl's mouth. Someone nearby called paramedics.

Mahhagnee (pronounced Mahogany) was rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where she spent the next two days in intensive care. She suffered some bleeding in her head and many scrapes and bruises on her body.

By Sunday night, however, she had recovered enough to be discharged.

Now, Daniels and Tampa police want to know: Who would be reckless enough to strike a 4-year-old and her mother on Halloween night?

"Just imagine how me and my daughter and our family felt," said Daniels, who is 22. Then, she had a message for the person in the Ford Taurus:

"I hope that you can find it in your heart to come forward."

Mahhagnee is recovering at home, and is back to playing with her friends in the family's Temple Terrace neighborhood. She has a followup visit with a neurosurgeon soon.

Daniels is still moving slowly, sore from the crash.

Police said the car drove north on 36th Street. The car hit Daniels and her daughter near E Jean Street, at about 7:40 p.m. The Taurus is red or possibly orange, has four doors and may be a newer model.

Anyone with information about the car, its driver or the vehicle's whereabouts on Friday is asked to call Tampa police at 276-3556 or CrimeStoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

_ Tamara Lush can be reached at 226-3373 or at lushsptimes.com.

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