Last August a woman was walking down an alley in Los Angeles county pushing a stroller containing her one-year-old infant. A teen driver speeding down down the alley seemed to be heading in her direction and she moved herself and the stroller as far as she could against a block wall. But the driver just sped up and headed straight for her. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera.
The driver paused and then drove away, making this a hit and run. Fortunately, there was a large truck further up the alley who drove toward him to cut off his escape. The car actually collided with the truck and then hit a telephone pole. There were numerous witnesses to the hit and run and people were so angry that the driver is lucky he remained in the car until police arrived.
Luckily, the mother, whose name is Rachel, and the baby were both okay. But in a victim impact statement she described the incident as attempted murder.
“I thought those were the last moments of our lives; we were dead,” the mother, who asked to be identified only as Rachel, wrote in a victim’s impact statement. “That feeling, along with the memory of a car accelerating directly into us, will haunt me forever.”…
Rachel, in her statement, repeatedly called the attack an attempted murder and lambasted Gascon for what she called a policy of seeking juvenile justice with “the lightest touch possible.”
As for the teen driver. Fox News reports he was driving a stolen vehicle and lied to police about what happened:
According to police sources, the driver, 16 at the time of the crime, initially told investigators the victim appeared out of nowhere, and he struck her by accident.
He was charged with two counts of felony assault and one felony count of hit and run but because of his age and because George Gascon is DA, he received a sentence of 5 months probation to be served at a rehabilitation camp, possibly this one in Malibu (the story doesn’t specify). Rachel wasn’t pleased with that sentence.
“George Gascon doesn’t value my life or the life of my child, or any other victim out there, and would rather reward the monsters like [the juvenile suspect] by demonstrating to them that their actions have no consequences,” Rachel wrote.
“DA Gascon is telling him and every other thug in LA County that it doesn’t matter if you try to murder people.”…
“I have never been more surprised or disappointed, and in fact I have never felt so victimized as I have by the system and current policies of LA’s DA, George Gascon,” she said.
She added that she’d been told his record would be “wiped clean” when he turns 18.
“How on earth can that be?” she said. “He tried to murder two innocent pedestrians. Murder. And we have video evidence. My child would be dead if I hadn’t been there to protect him.”
As for Gascon, his office said the sentence was appropriate given that the baby was unharmed and the mother had minor injuries. But would it have mattered if they’d both wound up in the hospital? I’m not sure it would have. Gascon is committed to not charging juveniles as adults (though he somewhat backtracked on that earlier this year). Still, whatever happened to the victims short of death the driver would probably have been sent to juvenile hall for a couple years. And if this kid goes back to committing more crimes after his 5-month probation, we’ll probably never hear about the connection to this previous incident. All we can really do is hope that by then DA Gascon has been recalled.