NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 12-year-old who sent a shopping cart hurtling onto a woman from a fourth-floor Harlem parking garage is being sent to a therapeutic foster home.
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A Manhattan Family Court judge sentenced the boy Thursday to at least six and up to 16 months in the residential program. She could later extend his stay.
The boy and a 13-year-old friend pleaded guilty to assault in the Oct. 30 shopping cart prank.
Marion Hedges, 47, was seriously injured. Her husband, Michael Hedges, said his wife will require months of rehabilitation due to neurological damage.
The 13-year-old later wrote her an apologetic letter, calling his actions stupid.
City lawyers say the 12-year-old was the one who gave the cart the final shove. Judge Susan Larrabee says he has serious anger and mental health problems.
Larabee said the boy’s home life has been chaotic, punctuated with frequent moves, parental neglect and violence, including an episode in which the boy saw his father attack his mother.
The judge noted that the boy has been suspended at times from school, once after he started choking a girl.
“All of those things do not mean that you’re doomed to keep living like this,” Larabee said. “You can have a better life. You can do better yourself. But it doesn’t happen overnight.”
The boy’s lawyer, Sandeep Kandhari, said his behavior reports have been “for the most part, exceptional” while he’s been in a detention facility since his arrest.
The 13-year-old was sentenced last month to six to 16 months in a therapy-oriented boarding school.
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