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Injured teen's missing earbud leads to suspect's arrest after hit-and-run crash in Jensen Beach

Peter Bradford Swing faces charges of leaving the scene of a crash with great bodily injury
Peter Bradford Swing of Jensen Beach was arrested by the Martin County Sheriff's Office on May 24, 2024.
Posted at 3:34 PM, May 24, 2024

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — A teen's missing earbud helped deputies crack a case after the 15-year-old bicyclist was injured by a hit-and-run driver earlier this week.

Investigators with the Martin County Sheriff's Office arrested Peter Bradford Swing, 49, of Jensen Beach on Friday.

Investigators said the victim was wearing earbuds at the time of the collision, one of which flew into the driver's SUV upon impact and lodged under a floor mat inside the vehicle.

That earbud provided geo-tracking to Swing's Jensen Beach home, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

When deputies went to the home, they noticed that someone attempted to conceal a silver Sante Fe that was involved in the crash behind the house.

The sheriff's office said the passenger's side of the vehicle had damage and a smashed-out back window.

Investigators said Swing was inside his home and confessed to the crash.

"Swing told investigators he served prison time on drug charges in the past and fled the scene, leaving the injured teenager on the side of the road, because he began to panic," a post on the Martin County Sheriff's Office Facebook page said.

Swing was taken into custody and faces charges of leaving the scene of a crash with great bodily injury.

The teenager, who his mother Lana Nichol identified as Lochlan Nichol, is being treated for his injuries but is expected to recover.

She said he was released from St Mary's hospital Friday and was home resting.

"I think the family will undoubtedly feel some measure of justice, but we can’t undo what happened," Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV reporter Kate Hussey. "I think the real sting here is that he left an unconscious child in a dark parking lot and drove away."

Snyder also told Hussey the sheriff's office has investigated a string of hit-and-runs lately, to the point they've created an entire hit-and-run task force to address it.

"My word to the community is this: if you have a crash, by law, and by the moral law of the universe, you need to stay there and wait until we arrive," Snyder said.