The performance of direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation for sparse arrays applied to the distributed source is worse than that applied to the point source model. In this paper, we introduce the coprime array with a large array aperture into the DOA estimation algorithm of the exponential-type coherent distributed source. In particular, we focus on the fourth-order cumulant (FOC) of the received signal which can provide more useful information when the signal is non-Gaussian than when it is Gaussian. The proposed algorithm extends the array aperture by combining the sparsity of array space domain with the fourth-order cumulant characteristics of signals, which improves the estimation accuracy and degree of freedom (DOF). Firstly, the signal-received model of the sparse array is established, and the fourth-order cumulant matrix of the received signal of the sparse array is calculated based on the characteristics of distributed sources, which extend the array aperture. Then, the virtual array is constructed by the sum aggregate of physical array elements, and the position set of its maximum continuous part array element is obtained. Finally, the center DOA estimation of the distributed source is realized by the subspace method. The accuracy and DOF of the proposed algorithm are higher than those of the distributed signal parameter estimator (DSPE) algorithm and least-squares estimation signal parameters via rotational invariance techniques (LS-ESPRIT) algorithm when the array elements are the same. Complexity analysis and numerical simulations are provided to demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method.