MANHATTAN — One of the 12-year-old boys accused of pushing a Target shopping cart off the upper level of a Harlem mall last month, critically injuring an Upper West Side philanthropist and real estate broker, pleaded guilty to the tragic assault Friday.
The boy, who turns 13 Saturday and whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo, faces up to 18 months in juvenile detention at sentencing on second-degree assault charges for the attack on Marion Hedges at the East River Plaza Mall. The sentence could be extended indefinitely until he reaches the age of 18.
"Uh, I help throw the shopping cart over it and I knew the people was down there. I knew somebody could have got hurt," the boy, dressed in a blue sweater and black dress slacks, said in a brief statement to the court.
He will remain in ACS custody, despite his lawyer's attempts to have him released to his mother for his birthday and Thanksgiving.
"I told him I love him," said his sobbing mother, Rosemary Rosario, after court. The boy's attorney, Shahabuddeen Ally, said that his client was "very remorseful" and "took ownership of what happened."
City attorney Leah Schmelzer had argued against the boy's release because he and the other boy had joked around about the incident after being arrested, she said.
The other boy, whose name is also being withheld because of his age, did not plead guilty and had his case adjourned.
"We want to continue having conversations with the [the boy's family] about potential resolution," said his attorney, Sandeep Kandhariy.
Hedges, 47, who was a broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman, has been hospitalized since the Oct. 30 incident, when the boys allegedly pushed a shopping cart off the upper level of the parking garage at the mall.
Tragically, Hedges had reportedly been shopping with her 14-year-old son for Halloween candy for underprivileged kids at the time she was hit by the cart near the entrance to Costco.
Both boys were charged with felony assault and weapons possession as juveniles and appeared in family court Friday.
Hedges, who graduated from the elite Spence school on the Upper East Side and Barnard College, was involved with a number of the city's top philanthropic organizations, including the Junior League of New York and the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.