A Long Island mother has been indicted on an attempted murder charge after authorities say she hunted down and ran over a teenager twice in her SUV.
Police say the mother erroneously believed the minor tried to rob her son, and she wanted retaliation.
According to a news release regarding the indictment, released on Monday, Jennifer Nelson, 35, twice ran over an unidentified 15-year-old boy in the parking lot of a Manhattan Bagel shop, near the high school her child attends, on Oct. 7, 2022. She was told that her underaged victim bullied and robbed her son.
Now Nelson has been charged with four crimes against the young man, with the prosecution saying she “hunted” the boy before hitting him with her vehicle. After driving up on the curb and running over the boy, she put the truck in reverse and “drove over the victim again,” authorities say.
The D.A.’s office said right before the incident, the mother threatened a crowd of students and flashed a knife and a small bat at the group, furious that someone had violated her child. What she did not know was that the student she attacked was not the one that hurt her son.
Authorities arrested her the next day, Law and Crime reported.
The mom was hit with one count of attempted murder in the second degree, a Class B violent felony; one count of assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony; one count of reckless endangerment in the first degree, a Class D felony; and two separate counts of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting resulting in serious physical injury, a Class E felony, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors contend that as an effort to distract law enforcement from connecting her to the crime, she fled from the scene and later in the same day, swapped out her 2020 Honda Passport at a local car dealership for a newer model, “even though her lease was not set to expire.”
The student was seriously injured as a result of her actions sustaining multiple fractures of the pelvis, six fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and numerous bruises and abrasions, the prosecution stated.
“This defendant – an adult – allegedly thought she could take the law into her own hands and tried to kill a 15-year-old in the process,” Tierney wrote in a prepared statement.
“This defendant’s incredibly misguided attempt to avenge the alleged victimization of her own child is no excuse,” Tierney added. “Citizens cannot take the law into their own hands and should instead work with law enforcement and my office to seek justice in every case.”
Authorities, who were actually looking into the robbery of Nelson’s son, said two teenagers were arrested for the crime.
Nelson was arraigned on Monday, standing before Supreme Court Justice Timothy P. Mazzei. He ordered her to be released on her own recognizance. She pleaded not guilty.
The district attorney’s office recommended her bail be set at $250,000 cash, $1 million bond, or $2.5 million partially secured bond.
Nelson’s attorney, Paul D’Emilia, said the way the prosecution has presented the event to the public is “misleading” and attempts “to conflate two separate events that day as one continuous occurrence.”
“Ms. Nelson received a frantic telephone call from her son who was, once again, being bullied and physically assaulted in the parking lot outside William Floyd High School,” the New York Post records D’Emilia as saying. “She found him shoeless and surrounded by tormentors when she drove up a few minutes later.”
“After fending off her son’s attackers, she drove to both the junior high school as well as the senior high school to report the incident and also try to retrieve her son’s sneakers,” the lawyer continued.
Nelson is due back in court on March 21 and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.