NEW YORK — A 47-year-old Manhattan mother was fighting for her life at Harlem Hospital on Wednesday, two days after she was struck by a shopping cart that was thrown from four stories above her at East River Plaza Mall in East Harlem.
According to police, the boys were playing around on the fourth-floor walkway of the mall when they decided to push shopping carts against the railing, New York's WNBC reported. One of the carts fell four stories down on top of Marion Salmon Hedges, who had been at the mall to shop for Halloween candy with her 13-year-old son.
The 12-year-old boys accused of throwing the shopping cart were arrested Tuesday and charged with juvenile assault. The two, who were described by neighbors as coming from underprivileged families, were turned-in by a 14-year-old friend who had tried to stop them, the New York Daily News reported.
According the NBC News' Stephanie Gosk, Hedges' husband Michael Hedges said on his facebook page that he hopes the two boys get the kind of care they need to become responsible members of the community.
"She's going to be, in the best of all cases, in rehabilitation for months," the newspaper quoted Michael Hedges as saying on Tuesday.
"She's under sedation. She's intubated. She has a thousand machines hooked up to her. It’s very disturbing," he reportedly added.
Video: Kids’ prank severely injures philanthropist (on this page)
Hedges, a real estate agent who lives on the Upper West Side, is known for her charity work, WNBC reported. She was a board member of the Samuel M. Isaacs community center and had a special interest in the youth programs. Hedges is active in her church, the Daily news reported.
"That's somebody's mother, someone's daughter," said shopper Monique Johnson, according to WNBC. "Whoever did it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent."
Director Wanda Wooton told NBC New York the situation was "unbelievable," "especially because it happened to Marion who is so giving and wonderful."
"It's horrendous," said Angelica Gonzalez, a shopper whose friend saw the aftermath of the incident. "It's horrible what these kids do."
The pranksters were charged in family court with assault as juveniles. Both live in East Harlem and neither of their families had a statement for NBC New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.