What to Know
- A strange man yelled "I'm coming for you!" at a 14-year-old girl on a Queens street, scaring her so much she ran right into traffic
- The girl seriously hurt both of her legs and was taken to a hospital in stable condition; a suspect was later arrested
- The victim's father, an FDNY firefighter, was the one who responded to the scene; he says they were both traumatized by what happened
The father of a 14-year-old Queens girl hit by a car when a stranger allegedly terrorized her, sending her running into traffic in a desperate effort to escape, was booted from court Monday after an outburst at the suspect.
"I want justice," Omar Wilks, the girl's father and a five-year FDNY firefighter, yelled at suspect Kevin Ramtabal as soon as the suspect was brought into the courtroom. Wilks was the one who found his daughter, who had been hit by an Audi when she ran from the stranger. Repeatedly, Wilks says she asked him: "Daddy, am I going to die?'"
"Remember those words," Wilks told the court. "I want justice."
His daughter was standing at the corner of 110th Street and Jamaica Avenue around 7:40 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, maybe on her way to school, when the man walked up and yelled, "I'm coming for you!", police said.
At first the girl kept walking, but police say the man started to chase her. Desperate to get away, the girl ran into the street -- right into the path of a 2001 Audi A6. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and the stranger who had frightened the child ran off, police said.
Ramtabal was later taken into custody and charged with crimes including reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He had no visible reaction to Wilks' outburst, which got Wilks kicked out of the courtroom. The injured girl's father wants the charges against Ramtabal upgraded to a violent felony; if that doesn't happen by Jan. 1, he'll get out of jail because of a change in New York's bail statute.
Wilks says he was working the day he was daughter was hit by the car and just happened to be the one to respond to it. He hasn't been back to work since, saying he's too traumatized. Wilks said his daughter has a metal plate in her leg as well as screws -- and that she'll never be the same.
She was hospitalized for a time with serious injuries to her leg but has now been resting at home, he added.
Ramtabal's attorney declined comment to reporters after court. It wasn't clear if he entered a plea on his client's behalf at the hearing.