Boy Who Dropped Shopping Cart Pens Apology Letter to Marion Hedges
MANHATTAN FAMILY COURT — A 13-year-old Harlem boy who admitted to throwing a shopping cart off a fourth-floor Harlem garage and sending real estate broker Marion Hedges into a coma has written a letter of apology to her.
"I did not mean to hurt you. My actions were stupid. I hope you feel better. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you," the boy, whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo, wrote to Hedges, according to a copy of the letter submitted in court by the boy's lawyer. The lawyer asked prosecutors to deliver it "at the appropriate time."
The current condition of Hedges, 47, is unclear. The Upper West Side mother and well-known philanthropist was reportedly shopping for Halloween candy with her son standing nearby when she was hit.
The boy's attorney, Shahabuddeen Ally, presented the letter while arguing for his client's release into his mother's custody during a family court hearing on Tuesday. His client was supposed to be sentenced Tuesday, but the judge adjourned the case until Dec. 19, when she expects to release her decision about his ultimate sentence.
Manhattan Family Court Judge Susan Larabee also denied the lawyer's request for a Saturday pass to leave his minimum-security facility and spend the day with his family at home.
Larabee will continue to consider Ally's proposal to release the boy from his Administration for Children's Services group home and to sentence him to probation or to participation in Scan New York, a community-based program and the Northside Center for Child Development.
Attorneys for the city, which is prosecuting the case, cited the boy's past problem behavior and read from reports from his school that said he terrorized his classmates and had thrown things in class.
"He's extremely problematic and as one school official says, when he doesn't like you he doesn't care," city attorney Leah Schmelzer said Tuesday.
The judge said she would keep the boy incarcerated pending the Dec. 19 hearing in light of the concerns about his behavior.
"The school finds him out of control. The clinic finds him at a high risk of offending. His own mother expresses her own frustration at controlling him," Larabee said. "I'm not paroling him."
Ally told DNAinfo that his client is anxious to get another chance and to fix his behavioral problems.
"At first I think he was putting on a tough exterior, but you see it bothers him and that he just wants to get out of there and start his life again," Ally said last week.
The young teen and his friend have been held in an ACS minimum security youth jail since shortly after the horrific Oct. 31 incident. They admitted to pushing a Target shopping cart off the fourth floor of the East River Plaza at approximately 6 p.m., smashing onto Hedges, who was standing with her young son below.
Hedges was rushed to the hospital where she was in a coma for weeks. Her current condition is not known but in recent weeks, sources said she remained in "serious physical condition."
The 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on Nov. 18, telling judge Larabee, "I help[ed] throw the shopping cart over it and I knew the people was down there. I knew somebody could have got hurt."
His 12-year-old friend also pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on Nov. 23, and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
They each face up to 18 months in juvenile detention, but their sentence could be extended indefinitely until they reach age 18.