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LANCASTER, Calif. – A Los Angeles woman who was mowed down with her 8-month-old baby by a teenager in a stolen car during a hit-and-run blasted Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon over the suspect’s light sentence Wednesday during a early release hearing.
The woman, who asked to be identified only as Rachel, said she does not believe the teenage suspect has been rehabilitated in the five months since he was sent to a juvenile detention camp.
“No one in the room actually thinks (the suspect) is a good kid,” she said via conference call in a Los Angeles County courtroom in Lancaster, California. “Look at what he did. Nobody changes who they are at the core in four months.”
Judge Mario Barrera said Wednesday that more evidence was needed before deciding whether to grant the teenager’s request for early release.
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Prosecutors said the teenager, who is not being named because he is a minor, has been involved in 14 fights and has been booked on allegations of disorderly conduct, insubordination, using offensive language and defying authority. However, some probation reports also praised his behavior.
Barrera continued the case and ordered the court to request incident reports detailing all the violations involving the suspect during his time at the probation camp.
During his testimony, county probation officer Charles Wilson was questioned by prosecutor Shea Sanna about the reports, including a summary that said the teenager’s “tone and disposition toward authority has improved.”
Wilson could not give details of how the teenager had improved his behavior, but said he had begun to take responsibility by admitting he had struggled and been involved in other incidents. Sanna pointed out that the teenager got into a fight during his second day at the camp, followed by more physical altercations in the weeks that followed.
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The incident that got him sentenced to five to seven months in the camp happened last year.
Surveillance video captured the moment the teenager ran into Rachel on Aug. 6, 2021, during a hit-and-run in the Venice neighborhood. The child was not seriously injured, but pictures showed a tire pattern-shaped bruise on the back of his scalp.
The teen driver fled the scene before a Good Samaritan in a pickup drove him off the road.
Rachel previously told Fox News Digital that she suffered severe cuts to her arms, hands and shoulder and slipped three discs in her back as a result of the impact, which sent her rolling over the hood of the car.
The teenager did not have a driver’s license at the time of the crime and was already on probation for a previous offense, felony intoxication after allegedly spiking a high school girl’s drink. The incident has left Rachel fearful for her neighborhood and prompted her family to sell their home and leave Los Angeles, she said Wednesday.
“I hate where I live because it’s a constant reminder every time I leave my house of what happened to us,” she said. We have sold our home and will be leaving LA at the end of November so I would like to ask that he stay in camp until then. I’ll fear for my life every day that I’m in LA if I know he’s home.”
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Despite his previous offenses, the office of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon sought five to seven months in a juvenile detention facility. The move was in line with Gascon’s progressive criminal justice policy, which treats juvenile suspects with less severity.
At the time, he described it as less severe than military school but tougher than summer camp.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Gascon’s office.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.