A California mother is incensed at Los Angeles (L.A.) County District Attorney (DA) George Gascón after a teen convicted of ramming his vehicle into her and her eight-month-old infant was sentenced to just five to seven months in a “juvenile probation camp,” according to reports.
“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 L.A.’s DA, George Gascón,” the mother’s victim impact statement, obtained by CBS Los Angeles, partially reads. The outlet did not reveal her name, but Fox News identified her as “Rachel.”
The horrific caught-on-camera incident, seen below, occurred while the mother and child were on a morning walk on August 6, 2021, in Venice, and investigators alleged at the time that the 16-year-old “was under the influence of drugs,” KABC wrote in August.
Video of the incident shows the driver plowing through the mother and her baby, sending the woman up over the hood and windshield and the stroller tumbling over. The mother frantically sprung to her feet to check on her child as the car continued down the street, the video showed.
“I thought those were the last moments of our lives, we were dead. That feeling, along with the memory of a car accelerating directly into us will haunt me forever,” she wrote in her statement, according to CBS LA.
“Despite shocking surveillance video of the Aug. 6, 2021, incident, numerous eyewitnesses and initial felony charges, the teen will serve his sentence at a ‘juvenile probation camp,’ an alternative sentence less severe than juvenile detention,” Fox News reported. The sentence will range from five to seven months, according to CBS L.A.
In a statement to the Fox News, Gascón’s office said in part:
Fortunately, the baby was uninjured, and the mother received a laceration to her elbow. The Sheriff’s Department agreed with the felony charges that were filed. At arraignment, the minor admitted two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and one felony count of hit-and-run. The Probation Department recommended, and the court sentenced the minor to a youth camp for five to seven months, an appropriate resolution.
In this case, this teen will be held accountable for his actions and receive the needed services to foster positive development to keep him from committing future offenses.
Though the L.A. County District’s Attorney’s Office acknowledged the elbow laceration, the woman asserted in her full impact statement, procured by the DailyMail, that she sustained injuries to three discs in her back and added that the emotional trauma derived from the incident continues to haunt her.
Moreover, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a sharp rebuke to the statement from Gascón’s office.
“Today, the L.A. County district attorney’s office released a statement claiming that the Sheriff’s Department was ok with the lightweight sentencing in a brutal hit and run in Venice CA,” Villanueva wrote in a tweet.
We were never consulted as we were not the Investigating agency. Sheriff’s Investigators would never be ok with the lightweight sentencing in this hit and run case. Stop empowering and encouraging criminal behavior. Hold them accountable #VictimsMatter
Today, the @ladaoffice released a statement claiming that @LASDHQ was ok with the lightweight sentencing in this brutal Venice hit and run. We were never consulted as we were not the Investigating agency. @LASDHQ Investigators would never be ok with this sentencing #VictimsMatter https://t.co/oovp8DwDDO
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) June 4, 2022
L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Shea Sonna slammed Gascón’s soft on crime policies in a statement, according to a CBS L.A. Sonna noted that “under Gascón’s L.A. County and his policies…you can’t push your kid in a stroller down the street without worrying about becoming a victim of a crime. “
In her impact statement, Rachel explained that she attended a meeting with the county’s “Juvenile DA” where she claimed she “was told that Gascon’s policy of ‘delivering the lightest touch possible’ for minors would prevent us from ever seeing any justice.”
“I was also told that his record would be wiped clean when he turns 18. How on earth can that be?” she went on to add. “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.”
“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 K.B. by demonstrating to them that their actions have no consequences,” she explained.
Rachel also detailed how she has “lost all faith in the justice system” and that she is relocating out of the “increasingly dangerous” Los Angeles area.