The two 12-year-old boys charged with pushing a Target shopping cart from a fourth-floor walkway onto 47-year-old Upper West Side mother Marion Salmon Hedges last week pleaded (the juvenile equivalent of) not guilty in court yesterday. And the mom for one of the boys offered a tearful apology to Hedges, who is in a coma in critical condition, outside court: “It’s a terrible, terrible thing. I really hope she recuperates. I really, really feel for her and her children,” Rosemary Rosario told reporters.
She added that her son feels horrible as well, and said she felt overwhelmed trying to raise him: “He’s sorry to the family that got affected...He’s only 12 years old. He’s a good kid. I just need help. I am a single mom,” Rosario said. The lawyers for the two boys, who are charged with first-degree assault, asked the judge to let them out of custody and go home with their moms, so they could keep attending school. Lawyer Shahabuddeen Ally noted, “This is a tragedy. This act may have been silly, foolish or sophomoric, but it was not intentional."
But prosecutors petitioned to keep the two boys confined, saying they have “at least 10 witnesses” and a videotape of the tragic incident. A probation official said both kids have missed minimal amounts of school this year—and one maintains a 96 average—but added that one boy has a history of suspensions and being “disrespectful” to his teachers. A former babysitter previously said of one of the pre-teens was "the baddest boy in the building."
The boys were ordered to remain locked up until their next hearing on Nov. 18, when they’re expected to go trial. If convicted, the boys each face 18 months in a juvenile detention center, and further hearings could keep them locked up till they're 18. Officials are also looking into the fact that the walkway the boys are said to have thrown the cart from would have been illegal if it had only been built by the city.