Woman Injured by Dropped Shopping Cart; Youths Charged

Two 12-year-old boys are charged with throwing the cart from a parking garage.

Nov. 1, 2011 — -- A New York woman is recovering from critical injuries she suffered when she was struck by a shopping cart that was dropped four stories, allegedly by two 12-year-old boys.

Marion Salmon Hedges was shopping for Halloween candy with her 13-year-old son Sunday, when she was injured by the falling cart outside of a shopping center in East Harlem. According to ABC station WABC-TV in New York, Hedges, a real estate broker, remains in critical but stable condition at the Harlem Hospital Center.

Police said the two suspects threw the cart from a walkway on the East River Plaza parking garage. The New York Post reports that when the cart initially got stuck, one suspect went back and pushed it again, sending the cart plummeting four stories to the sidewalk.

In addition to working as a broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Hedges works with multiple charities and acts as a board member for the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Youth Center, which has an outpost in a school behind the shopping center where Hedges was injured.

The executive director of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Youth Center, Wanda Wooten, said she was shocked when she learned that Hedges was in critical condition.

"We were just together at an event on Friday night. She was there with her daughter, trying on shoes, and having a good time," Wooten said.

Wooten described Hedges as being a "high energy person" who gives "110 percent" and cares about the community.

"I always said [to her] 'I don't know how you do the things you do,'" Wooten said. "[She] would just say 'That's the way I like to do things -- I can't imagine not being involved.'"

Wooten was especially troubled by the fact that the two 12-year-old suspects were the kind of youths the center often works with.

"I suspect it was a prank that went terribly, terribly wrong," Wooten said. "Young children don't have the best judgment. They don't understand consequences."

Martin Hedges, Marion Hedges' husband of 20 years, told the New York Post today that his family was "going through a rough time." According to the Post, the Halloween candy Hedges was buying was for a neighborhood block party.

"Every year on Halloween, a 1,000 kids come to our block from less-privileged neighborhoods and we spend $500 to $600 on candy for them and that's what she was doing -- buying candy for those kids to do something nice for the community," he told the Post.

The two youths arrested were charged today as juveniles with assault and criminal possession of a weapon and then remanded to the custody of the Administration of Children's Services.