‘Look at Me!’ 15-Year-Old Victim, Mom Shred Drunk Driver in Strip Mall Van Drag That Nearly Killed Him

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What to Know

  • A man who admitted driving drunk and mowing down a young boy in a mall parking lot has been sentenced to 15 years in prison

  • Luis DeJesus, 43, pleaded guilty last month to charges of first-degree assault and aggravated driving while intoxicated

  • The victim, Nicholas Suarez, was in court for the sentencing Monday and showed DeJesus a long scar across his stomach

The man who admitted driving drunk and mowing down a young boy on his skateboard in a Long Island mall parking lot, trapping him under the van and leaving him with ghastly injuries, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in jail. 

Luis DeJesus, 43, pleaded guilty last month to charges of first-degree assault and aggravated driving while intoxicated in the crash last October that put then 14-year-old Nicholas Suarez in the hospital with serious head and internal injuries. He did not speak at Monday’s sentencing. 

The victim, who had been in the West Hempstead strip mall lot on Cherry Valley Avenue with some friends that day, a group outing for burgers, wanted his voice heard, though.

“Look at me!” said Suarez, now 15, as he addressed DeJesus.

The boy held up his shirt, revealing a long scar across his stomach. 

“I want you to see that scar,” he told DeJesus. “I want you to remember this forever.” 

Six other friends were with Suarez when DeJesus drive his minivan into them. Suarez was the only one seriously hurt; he was caught under the van and dragged along the pavement. 

Suarez’s mother, a school nurse, called her son’s survival a miracle. But she said he has permanent eye damage and rods in his legs and hips from the medical procedures he had to undergo. And he still has nightmares, she says.

“His humanity was taken away from him,” mom Emily Rivera said of her son at the sentencing. “He couldn’t speak, eat, walk or breathe normally for months.”

As for DeJesus, Rivera had few words, calling him “so heartless with no respect for human life.” 





Source : Nbcnewyork