Crime But No Punishment in DA George Gascon's Los Angeles

AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

You can always count on DA George Gascon to bend over backwards to protect criminals at the expense of victims. Back in March an elderly couple in Boyle Heights stopped at a McDonald's to pick up some food before the woman had to go to a medical appointment. That's when they were approached by a homeless man named Charles Green.


[José] Rangel Hernández said he and his wife were sitting in the drive-thru when a homeless man began punching him through an open window.

Rangel Hernández got out of the car to defend himself and the two men ended up on the ground.

The video also shows Maria Vargas, who is partially blind, exiting the vehicle and slowly approaching her husband and the stranger.

As the two men continue to wrestle, the transient bumps Vargas, and she falls to the ground, hitting her head on the concrete.

The bump on the head was the beginning of a series of terrible health outcomes for Maria Vargas. Initially it seemed she would recover but a short time later she was back in the hospital and doctors would eventually declare her brain dead.

Parademics rushed Vargas-Luna to the hospital, but she suffered a heart attack on ride over. She eventually recovered enough for doctors to send her home. However, a few days later, she suffered a seizure and was again rushed to the hospital. Doctors declared her brain dead and plan to take her off life support shortly.

Essentially, she is being kept on life support at the moment but it's only a matter of time before she will be dead. Charles Green, the person who (allegedly) initiated the attack which led to her condition, was arrested and released after the DA decided he didn't intend to kill her.


The man who attacked the couple was released on March 28 after investigators determined the homeless man accidentally hit her. They determined Vargas tripped and fell to the ground. Because of this, the Los Angeles District Attorney dropped the felony charges and charged the man with a misdemeanor.

The DA's office sent the Maria Rangel's family an email explaining the decision to drop the felony charge.

In an email, the Deputy District Attorney explained: "The evidence does not establish proof of an intentional act that resulted in Ms. Vargas' fall."...

"Whatever happened to her, they said he can't be held accountable, only for what he did to my dad. But even what he did to my dad, they want to give him a misdemeanor battery for beating up an old person," laments [daughter Veronica] Rangel.

At the moment, Green is facing a maximum of a year in prison for a single misdemeanor for the attack on José Rangel Hernández, but there's still a chance this could change. Once Maria Rangel is declared dead, which seems inevitable at this point, the DA could charge Green with felony involuntary manslaughter. According to KTLA's legal analyst, that charge, which does not require intent to kill, could result in up to four years in prison. 


Will DA Gascon's office bring such a charge or will it stick with criminals have accidents too? We'll have to wait and see but I would not count on him to do the right thing unless this case gets lots of media attention. Gascon doesn't seem to care much about keeping criminals off the streets but he does care about winning reelection.

Here's a local news report on the story which includes video of the attack.

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