Two 12-year-old boys pleaded not guilty Friday to charges surrounding a shopping cart stunt last weekend that left a Manhattan philanthropist in critical condition.
NBC New York is withholding the boys' names because of their young age. Prosecutors charged them as juvenile delinquents for assault, reckless endangerment, and depraved indifference.
Police said the two boys were horsing around Oct. 30 on the fourth floor walkway of East River Plaza in East Harlem. The boys began to push shopping carts into the railing and pushed one over the edge, police said. The cart struck 47-year-old Marion Hedges, who was on the ground floor with her son.
"It is fair to say that none of the charges have been charged as intentional acts meaning to hurt someone with an action," said Shahabuddeen Ally, an attorney representing Rosemary Rosario, the mother of one of the boys.
Outside family court, Rosario sobbed and apologized to the Hedges family.
"I'm really sorry to the family that was affected," Rosario said. "Everybody, the mother the kids. It's a terrible thing and I hope she recuperates. I really feel for her and her children."
She also said, "I'm a mother too. I have to be by my son's side, he's only 12 years old."
The parents of the other 12-year-old avoided news cameras as they ran out of family court.
Rosario insists that her son is scared and deserves a second chance.
"He's a good kid. I just need help," she said. "I'm a single mom. I just need help."
The boys are being held by the Administration for Childrens Services until their next court date in mid November. Meanwhile, the victim's family told the Daily News they want to start a foundation to help inner city youth.