Toronto

Auction for NBA Finals tickets in support of injured boy nets $20K

A basketball fan with deep pockets and a kind heart just spent $20,500 on a pair of tickets to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, with the proceeds going to support the family of a four-year-old boy critically injured in a high-profile hit and run.

Radiul Chowdhury, 4, was struck by a motorcycle in Toronto's east end on Sunday

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Toronto Raptors, said this week that Ruhul Chowdhury, the father of the boy injured in the weekend hit and run, works for the company. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

A basketball fan with deep pockets and a kind heart just spent $20,500 on a pair of tickets to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, with the proceeds going to support the family of a four-year-old boy critically injured in a high-profile hit and run.

Radiul Chowdhury was walking Sunday with one of his parents in Toronto's east end when he ended up on the roadway and was struck by a motorcycle. He was rushed to hospital with critical injuries. 

Toronto police have said the motorcyclist briefly stopped and let a female passenger off the bike, but then drove off and the passenger fled the area on foot. On Thursday, police announced the woman has been arrested, too.

Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment (MLSE), the company that owns the Toronto Raptors, auctioned off the tickets to help the boy's family. The company confirmed Tuesday that his father, Ruhul Chowdhury, works for MLSE and his son remains in critical condition at the Hospital for Sick Children.

MLSE didn't immediately say who won the tickets.

On Wednesday afternoon, the company updated its website to say that local entrepreneur Mohammed Fakih has put forth a large bid. 

"In the spirit of giving and in an effort to increase the funds raised for the Chowdhury family, Mr. Fakih is asking other corporations to challenge his $10,000 bid," the statement reads. 

"In addition to MLSE providing support and assistance to the family, all funds raised from the auction will be directly donated to the family to alleviate any additional financial burden so that Radiul's family can be by his side," the website adds.

A 31-year-old man, whose name has not been released by police, was arrested Monday and faces charges of leaving an accident scene causing bodily harm, driving with an improper licence and operating a vehicle without insurance.

Radiul Chowdhury, 4, was walking Sunday with one of his parents in Toronto's east end when he ended up on the roadway and was struck by a motorcycle. (CBC)

The arrest came after the boy's father made an appeal to local media for those responsible to come forward.

"I'm Muslim and I'm trained to forgive people," Chowdhury told local news outlet CP24 on Monday. "Just hand over yourself to the police, tell them the truth of what happened."

Police said they are still seeking a female suspect, and Chowdhury has also appealed to the woman to turn herself in.

The tickets being auctioned off are in Section 120 of Toronto's Scotiabank Arena, and have an estimated total market value of $4,500.

The Toronto Raptors face off against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.

With files from CBC News

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