Nearly two dozen protesters took to the Bushwick streets on Sunday to demand that police investigate a hit-and-run that seriously injured a local mom.
“Justice! Justice!” the protesters chanted during the Nov. 29 rally.
Andrea Cardeno, a Mexican immigrant living in Fort Greene, has spent 11 days in Elmhurst Hospital after a car hit her and seriously injured her foot on Nov. 19 on Myrtle Avenue by Greene Avenue in Bushwick.
Cardeno’s husband, Heribierto Rubio, said that the couple drove to Bushwick for their child’s doctor’s appointment when they stopped to buy some bread for their other kids at about 12:40 pm.
After Rubio went into the bakery, a car hit the family’s vehicle from behind, Rubio said. Cardeno got out of the car to investigate the damage, but as she was walking to speak to the driver, another driver hit her and ran over her foot before speeding away.
Cardeno was transported to Elmhurst Hospital, where doctors found she had suffered multiple fractures to her foot. The 37-year-old hasn’t left the hospital since, and has undergone one surgery, which placed screws in her ankle, with another planned for Nov. 30, Rubio said. Doctors said Cardeno, a mother of three, won’t recover the use of her foot for about a year, her husband added.
The couple has demanded that police investigate the hit-and-run, claiming that officers with the 83rd Precinct have been mostly passive since they filed the police report.
“The officials don’t want to investigate. We’ve gone many times,” Rubio said in Spanish.
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The police’s original accident report neglects to mention key facts about the incident, Rubio alleged. A picture of the report said that Cardeno “was observed on the ground being attended by FDNY EMS upon police arrival and did claim leg injuries” — which Rubio and activists argue places the blame on Cardeno without noting that the driver ran over her foot.
“There are no facts or details that it was a hit-and-run,” said Jorge Muñiz-Reyes, an activist who organized the event with the activist group Mexicanos Unidos. “It makes it sound like she had fallen.”
When Rubio asked the precinct to correct the report, officials told him that he had to speak to the officer who filed it, but he later was told that officer is on vacation, he said on Nov. 30.
“The police don’t want to do anything,” he said, noting that officers haven’t reached out to his wife to ask her what happened. “The officers haven’t gone to the hospital to clarify it with her.”
Muñiz-Reyes added that the couple has struggled to find an officer to translate from English to Spanish for them, most likely accounting for some of the report’s errors.
Local organizers tried to track down information about the driver, obtaining security camera footage from the Wyckoff Pediatric Care Center across the street that revealed the model of the driver’s car.
Rubio, who attended the Nov. 29 protest that marched from Myrtle Avenue to the 83rd Precinct, said he suspects that his and his wife’s immigrant status has played a role in the police’s alleged inaction.
“Because we’re immigrants, they don’t want to help us,” he told Brooklyn Paper.
Department spokesperson Jessica McRorie said that the police are still investigating the hit-and-run, and that members of the 83rd Precinct Detective Squad met with the family members on Monday night to discuss the incident further. According to Muñiz-Reyes, who was present at the meeting, the police said they may amend the accident report if Rubio returned at a later date.