NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two 12-year-old boys  accused of using a shopping cart as a weapon were in court Friday afternoon.  One of them pleaded guilty to an assault charge.

The boys are accused of critically injuring Marion Salmon Hedges by tossing the cart from the fourth-floor walkway outside the Target store in Harlem on Oct. 30.  According to the District Attorney, Hedges is still in serious physical condition.

One of the accused, identified as “Jeovanni R,” who turns 13 on Saturday, pleaded guilty to assault. He spoke in court, explaining his actions to the family court judge.

“I helped throw a cart over. I knew there were people down there. And they could get hurt,” he said.

Shahabuddeen Ally, the boy’s  lawyer, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty with the hope of probation.

“Our goal is to get him back into the community. With probation, there’s a wealth of services that can [be offered] to the youngester and more importantly to his family to make him a positive member of society again,” Ally told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

Ally went on to say that his client had done the “responsible thing” and “took ownership of his actions in this case.”

The other boy had his case adjourned until next Wednesday at his attorney’s request. Both boys are being held in juvenile facilities.

The suspects are being charged as juveniles and face reckless endangerment and depraved indifference charges in addition to assault.

Rosemary Rosario, the mother of one of the two boys accused in the incident, delivered a tearful apology on behalf of her son back at the beginning of the month.

“It’s a terrible thing and I hope she recuperates. I really, really, really feel for her and her children,” an emotional Rosario said, adding that her son was “really sorry.”

Michael Hedges said his wife will require months of rehabilitation due to neurological damage.

Hedges also said his family hopes the boys get help.

“They’re not adults. They’re children, and children who have been left on their own without supervision,” he told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey in an exclusive interview.

The railing the shopping cart went over was just 3 ½-feet tall.

Days after the incident, Councilman James Vacca told CBS 2’s Hennessey that instead of private walkways having short railings on either side, future walkways should have 8-foot high fencing, the same height you see on any city- or state-owned walkway.

“The reality is we can’t sit here and do nothing,” Vacca said. “If a private developer does not want to make these structures safe by having fencing, then he’s not going to get a permit from the City of New York.”

“If this fencing was up [at the time of the incident], this could not have happened,” Vacca said.

Share your thoughts on this story in the comments section below…

Comments (24)
  1. gotacomment says:

    I believe that some people are capable of redemption. I believe that Jeovanni Rosario and Ray Hernandez are not. They were undeterred by the pleas of their 14-year-old companion, who tried to stop them; after he took the first cart away, they got another and threw it over. One commented “What happens, happens”, indicating their complete disregard for anyone who might have been impacted (deliberate choice of words here) by thier actions, and when police arrested them, they were laughing and treated the whole thing as a joke. Probation will do nothing to deter them from future acts of sociopathic behavior. They’re known as “the baddest kids in the building” where they live and their mothers (fathers, as is all too typical in these cases, are long gone) do not seem to have exerted much effort to raise them to be responsible citizens. There is nothing else to do to protect society from their depredations but lock them up.

  2. blamethekidsnotthefence says:

    You have got to be kidding me blaming a low fence for this attack. And wanting to make it more difficult for businesses to open. Place the blame where it belongs on the kids who did it. Stop making excuses why it happened and isn’t really the kids fault. They did it regardless of the height of the fence. That is the problem with today’s society. Find someone or something else to blame besides the individuals who did it.

  3. AS USUAL says:


    But as Cos deSPIC points out, they have deminished brain capacities. Can’t quite blame them. It’s genetic.

  4. Hater says:

    Yes we cant wait to have him back in “the community”. Rot in hades.

  5. karen s says:

    pleading guilty, a good first step in the legal process. you owning what you did is a mature act. hopefully the justice system will respond in a manner that will satisfy the victim, her family and society as a whole. the victim’s struggle will be a long one, and good people everywhere wish her every chance at a good recovery. the sentence though, shoul NOT be just probation.

  6. Ophelia Lifepass says:

    How could they even think of pleading not guilty? Did you throw the cart, yes or no. Give them the lethal injection.

  7. Larry Schwarz says:

    I am sure the mother of the suspect who apologized was sincere.But what about the medicall bills?.Her Medical insurance is probably covering them but then they will go after the parents for reimbursement.The victim also might Sue.Financially these stupid kids might have just ruined their families.

  8. MikeyFromDaBronx says:

    This is very sad. I remember doing stupid things as a kid growing up in the Bronx. I could actually see myself doing this very same act. I am not a minority. I didn’t have supervision all the time since my father worked two jobs and my mother passed away when I was young. This is exactly like the movie Sleepers. I hope the lady is doing fine and the mall moves up the fences another couple of feet.

    1. Cos_New says:

      Well said, Mikey… I share your concern for the victim and her family. My prayers go to her for a speedy recovery!

  9. Tebow says:

    Minority’s stink

  10. bullett says:

    “If this fencing was up [at the time of the incident], this could not have happened,” Vacca said.
    Maybe this is something the local & county planning boards should have looked at before approving plans to this building and its garage. Let’s all hope for a full recovery to Ms. Hedges.

  11. Cos says:

    Without question, the boys (if convicted) were wrong. But again, criminal behavior has nothing to do with ethnicity (Meme). To also say that ‘no kid is that dumb’ is a pointless statement as well (christine). Children are curious – to a fault! Their curiousity can be a curse. With that said, if they are left to their own devices they will do stupid things. That is why it is important to spend time with your children and explain action-reaction logic to them as early in their life as possbile. This won’t completely remove the ‘curious’ bug, but it will curb it greatly.

    1. Nick says:

      You are a dumb kid, aren’t you? I knew better as a kid, so did my friends. Which dumb broad raised you?

      1. Cos_Again says:

        It would appear, Nick, that you have some issues to resolve for yourself. Your comment first catagorizes the individual you’re responding to… This provides you with a ‘comfort zone’ to rant. Your next sentence attempts to promote intelligence that is not as high as you may think by stating “I knew better as a kidd…” The extension of that same sentence suggest another layer of comfort by suggesting that your friends knew better as well. And I gotta love the last one, “Which dumb broad raised you?”… That one is hysterical! Perhaps with all the grace you’ve shown everyone with your extremely limited knowledge of children you can tell me how a man of my age (42, if you must know) can be born and raised in the Bronx – never once arrested, handcuffed or otherwise temporarily detained by any law enforcement can accomplish all that…? Can you say the same…? If not, perhaps you should ask yourself the same question you asked of me

        1. Nick says:

          Long rambling psycho babble is what you’re best at, huh? I bet lots of folks just agrees with you to not hear it any further. Thanks for proving my deduction: you ARE a dumb kid.

          1. Johnny Handsome says:

            Good come back Nick! Go on and show the world you are an intellectual giant! among midgets!

    1. Meme Meyagi says:

      ur latino mama

  12. christine says:


    1. stephanie white says:

      Christine you are right! I commented on foxnews that the woman must have been a bleeding heart liberal – now after reading the husbands comments – I have been proven right.

      May justice prevail.

      1. longisland says:

        Seriously, are you an idiot? You think she had it coming to her? You’re writing as if you deserve a prize for something. Who cares where you commented previously? Sure, those boys were just staking out that rooftop waiting for someone who looked like a “bleeding heart liberal” to dump a cart on. M o r o n.

        1. Mencken says:

          I will bet they selected this poor women at least in part because she was white. In other words, NOT someone with whom they could identify. She didn’t look like their mothers and sisters and friends and neighbors. She was “the other.” But this analysis never takes place when the victim is white and the perps are not. It will be a non-factor because white people are uncomfortable talking about it publicly. And non-whites sure as hell won’t bring it up.

  13. Amused but not misled says:

    This must be the fastest they have gotten to a trial in New York City history!

    And of course! Blame the fence- not these dopey kids. Another blow hard with an agenda heard!

    1. Don says:

      I don’t think he was absolving the kids by asking that the fence be 8 feet high. that was a solution so another bunch of dopy kids or emotionally disturbed adult could not do it again. The kids are guilty and no one can deny it but even an adult not paying attention could possibly do the same thing by accident with the fence only being 3 1/2 high. remember we live in a society where you have to dummy proof everything so as not to be sued when some dummy comes along and does something stupid or criminal as with this case. Hope the victim is healing every day. God Bless her!

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