HARLEM, NY (PIX11)—Two pre-teens from East Harlem are under arrest for throwing a shopping cart off a parking garage and severely injuring one of the top realtors in the city while she was walking with her son.
Police sources tell PIX11 News that two twelve year olds threw the shopping cart off of the top floor of the parking garage at the East River Plaza Shopping Center on 117th Street and the FDR Drive in East Harlem. The cart fell four stories from the sky bridge connecting the parking garage with the shopping center's big box stores, which include Target, Marshalls and Costco.
A witness told PIX11 News he's not surprised. "I've seen kids spit over, throw botles, garbage over. Now, I guess it's a shopping cart," Felix Robles said. He's the super at the building next door to East River Shopping Plaza, and says he shops at the Target there many days a week.
Two of his comments indicate the danger at the shopping center. One, people regularly throw things over the rails which, on the day after the shopping cart attack, have security guards posted next to them on every level. Also, PIX11 found on the last set of steps leading up to the top floor of the parking garage two half-empty beer bottles that could easily be tossed.
Second, the metal mesh railings on the side of the sky bridges at East River Plaza are at their highest approximately as high as the elbows of most of the security guards stationed next to them. Many shoppers told PIX11 News that part of the problem is that the railing needs to be higher, or there will be further consequences.
"It's going to happen again," Felix Robles said, after having seen the aftermath of Sunday's incident. "They need [to raise] those rails up. That's the only way to stop it from happening again."
Hedges is listed in stable condition at the hospital, even though she had been transported there in worse shape. Her husband, an international business executive, is reportedly rushing back to New York Monday from a business trip in Spain.
Because of the age of the two pre-teen suspects, their identities are not being released. They were charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon at their arraignment Monday. Police sources say that the twelve year-olds did not specifically target Hedges, but instead she was the victim of a random act.