Los Angeles DA Gascon’s office lands 5-month probation camp sentence for teen who mowed down mom and infant

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A California teen convicted of plowing a car into a mother and her 8-month-old son will spend just five months in a diversionary program thanks to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, according to the woman who survived the crash.

Despite shocking surveillance video of the Aug. 6, 2021 incident, numerous eyewitnesses and initial felony charges, the teen will serve his sentence at a “juvenile probation camp,” an alternative sentence less severe than juvenile detention.

“I thought those were the last moments of our lives; we were dead,” the mother, who asked to be identified only as Rachel, wrote in a victim’s impact statement. “That feeling, along with the memory of a car accelerating directly into us, will haunt me forever.”

Surveillance video recorded the entire Aug. 6, 2021 hit-and-run incident in Venice, California.

Surveillance video recorded the entire Aug. 6, 2021 hit-and-run incident in Venice, California. (Los Angeles County)

Gascon’s office said it was looking into the sentencing.

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According to police sources, the driver, 16 at the time of the crime, initially told investigators the victim popped up out of nowhere, and he struck her by accident.

Multiple videos show the car veering directly at the mother and child while speeding the wrong way down a narrow backstreet with no sidewalks. After mowing them down, the driver attempts to drive away, only to be stopped by another driver who rams the stolen sedan with a pickup truck.

After striking Rachel and her 8-month-old, the wrong-way driver collided with a pickup truck.

After striking Rachel and her 8-month-old, the wrong-way driver collided with a pickup truck. (Los Angeles County)

Rachel in her statement repeatedly called the attack an attempted murder and lambasted Gascon for what she called a policy of seeking juvenile justice with “the lightest touch possible.”

She said the driver got so close she could see the whites of his eyes.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing a second recall attempt as criticism over his progressive policies intensifies. On Wednesday, he defended his policies while speaking with reporters. 

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is facing a second recall attempt as criticism over his progressive policies intensifies. On Wednesday, he defended his policies while speaking with reporters.  (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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“As the car approached me and my child, I stopped walking and moved the stroller and myself up against a building on the right side of the road to ensure that we gave the reckless driver plenty of room to pass,” Rachel said. “As the car got dangerously close to us, [the juvenile suspect] turned the wheels in our direction and accelerated as he aimed to kill us.”

Rachel said she lived in fear for seven months before the driver was taken into custody – and would resume doing so after his short sentence is complete.

“I was also told that his record would be wiped clean when he turns 18,” she continued. “How on earth can that be? He tried to murder two innocent pedestrians. Murder. And we have video evidence. My child would be dead if I hadn’t been there to protect him.”

In the harrowing collision, with a wall to one side and the approaching car on the other, Rachel said she lifted her son’s stroller straight up just before impact, which she credits for saving him from more severe injuries.

“George Gascon doesn’t value my life or the life of my child, or any other victim out there, and would rather reward the monsters like [the juvenile suspect] by demonstrating to them that their actions have no consequences,” Rachel’s statement continues. “DA Gascon is telling him and every other thug in LA County that it doesn’t matter if you try to murder people. Why are Gascon’s policies prioritizing the livelihood of rotten monsters when my child, my baby, who is incapable of protecting himself, is left to fend for himself, and is essentially being told his life doesn’t matter?”

Gascon’s office has come under fire for months for what critics say is a soft approach toward prosecuting crime. He has maintained that his reforms are aimed at creating a fairer criminal justice system.

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As he has issued directives handcuffing prosecutors from seeking sentencing enhancements or other stiffer penalties, homicides in Los Angeles have soared, according to city and county law enforcement.

“I have never been more surprised or disappointed, and in fact I have never felt so victimized as I have by the system and current policies of LA’s DA, George Gascon,” Rachel wrote. “My heart breaks when I think about all of the other victims out there, less fortunate than me, whose murderers are getting lenient sentences and being released from prison before their sentences are complete.”

At the same time, controversial cases involving juveniles are often sentenced without public scrutiny because they are not subject to the same public records rules as adults.

Hannah Tubbs began identifying as female after being arrested last year in connection with a 2014 child molestation case in Los Angeles County. Tubbs pleaded not guilty Thursday to an April 2019 murder in nearby Kern County. 

Hannah Tubbs began identifying as female after being arrested last year in connection with a 2014 child molestation case in Los Angeles County. Tubbs pleaded not guilty Thursday to an April 2019 murder in nearby Kern County.  (Los Angeles County)

Another example involves a 26-year-old child molester, who received a sentence of just six months in a juvenile facility for girls after claiming to identify as female following an arrest eight years after the crime. That offender is now in custody in Kern County on murder charges.

Gascon is facing a second recall effort, which has the support of deputy prosecutors in his own office. The petition surpassed 500.000 signatures earlier this week, and organizers say they need just 67,000 more by July 6 to secure a ballot.

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On Thursday, a California appeals court upheld an injunction barring Gascon from refusing to charge “three-strike” cases, which dramatically increase prison terms for repeat felons.

Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.