Law enforcement officials and the attorney for the Sacramento teen accused of driving after and running down a boy in the Arden Arcade neighborhood last weekend give dramatically different accounts of the incident.
Isabelle Marie Salgado, who turned 18 on Wednesday, is being tried as an adult on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in the incident, which authorities say began when the Mercedes SUV she was driving was struck with an object as she headed east on a tree-lined suburban street.
The California Highway Patrol, which responded to and investigated the incident, called Salgado the aggressor and said she admitted to witnesses that she purposely ran down the 13-year-old boy . Police earlier said the boy was 10 years old. His name has not been released.
Salgado’s attorney, Todd Leras, who is running for district attorney in Sacramento County, said the boys were mischief-minded, and that the collision was an accident. He said Salgado exhibited compassion and that the prosecution has been in a rush to judgment. If the boys’ behavior had led Salgado to crash, the DA would have been charging them, he contended.
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“This is a classic example of young boys being out unsupervised throwing things at cars,” said Leras, who added that he had no evidence the boys threw multiple items. “They (prosecutors) are basing a lot of decisions ... on very little information.”
The CHP tells a different story.
The boys told the CHP they tossed an empty tea can into the road without seeing the oncoming car, authorities said. The can sounded like a brick when it struck the vehicle, Leras said. Salgado whipped the vehicle around and drove after the boys. The boys – the 13-year-old and his younger brother – fled on their bikes, said CHP spokesman Officer Chad Hertzell.
The vehicle screeched around the corner onto Yellowstone Lane as Salgado pursued the boys, Hertzell said. After the older boy rode onto a lawn, Salgado accelerated and ran over the 13-year-old’s bike, pinning him under the vehicle, he said. The boy, who suffered minor injuries, had to be extricated by firefighters.
The tea can was never found, Hertzell said.
“She seemed to show a lack of concern when she was being booked. She seemed ambivalent,” Hertzell said of Salgado, adding that officers were disturbed by her apparent lack of emotion.
But Leras said Salgado did show compassion and held the injured boy’s hand before authorities arrived.
Salgado was initially taken to Sacramento County juvenile hall. She was arraigned at the juvenile courthouse Tuesday on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
Online records indicate Salgado was released Wednesday from Sacramento County jail.