Jennifer Nelson is led out of the Fourth Precinct for...

Jennifer Nelson is led out of the Fourth Precinct for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on  Oct. 9. Credit: James Carbone

A Shirley mother has been indicted on upgraded charges for allegedly running over a 15-year-old boy with her car, as prosecutors said it was revenge for her son being robbed of his Adidas Yeezy Slides — an assertion denied vigorously by her defense attorney. 

Jennifer Nelson, 35, of Shirley, allegedly brandished a knife and a small bat at a group of students in a parking lot across the street from William Floyd High School before driving her Honda Passport over the victim, and then reversing and driving over the boy a second time, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. The victim suffered multiple fractures of the pelvis, six fractured ribs, a punctured lung and numerous bruises and cuts, prosecutors said.

“This defendant — an adult — allegedly thought she could take the law into her own hands and tried to kill a 15-year-old in the process,” Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a statement. “This defendant’s incredibly misguided attempt to avenge the alleged victimization of her own child is no excuse. Citizens cannot take the law into their own hands, and should instead work with law enforcement and my office to seek justice in every case.”

But Nelson's defense attorney, Manhattan-based Paul D’Emilia, said the DA had "attempted to conflate two separate events from that day as one continuous occurrence" and said his client "did not see or recognize" the victim. 

"Ms. Nelson intends to vigorously fight these charges while also seeking protection of her child from unresponsive school officials," said D'Emilia, who added that her son is now being home-schooled for his own safety. "Ms. Nelson is a single mom caring for her only child with no other support or help." 

Nelson pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment — second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and leaving he scene of an incident without reporting, resulting in serious physical injury — at her arraignment Monday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Timothy P. Mazzei ordered Nelson released on her own recognizance. Prosecutors had asked the judge to set bail at $250,000 cash, $1 million bond or $2.5 million partially secured bond.

On Oct. 7, Nelson drove her leased 2020 Honda Passport to the Dunkin’ Donuts located near William Floyd High School to “confront” a group of students, prosecutors said, that she believed had participated in robbing her son of his Yeezy Slides — footwear that was designed by Ye, the rapper and designer formerly known as Kanye West.

D'Emilia said his client had "received a frantic telephone call from her son who was, once again, being bullied and physically assaulted in a parking lot outside William Floyd High School." 

Nelson, a longtime National Grid employee, "rushed out of work and drove to retrieve her son" and "found him shoeless and surrounded by tormentors when she drove up a few minutes later."

Prosecutors said the victim left the parking lot and walked across the street as Nelson threatened the victim and a group of students while brandishing a knife and a small bat. 

“Nelson allegedly then got back into her vehicle, left the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, crossed Mastic Road, entered the parking lot of Manhattan Bagel at a high rate of speed and drove directly at the victim who was standing in the parking lot,” prosecutors said in a news release.

Nelson’s Honda struck the victim, who then fell onto the ground, and she drove over his body, onto a curb, reversed her vehicle and then drove over the victim again, prosecutors said.

D'Emilia said "after fending off her son’s attackers she drove to both the Junior High School as well as the Senior High School to report the incident and also try to retrieve her son’s sneakers." 

It was about two hours later when she was heading back home with her son, when "a group of males were running through the streets and one of the young men suffered injuries after striking Ms. Nelson’s car."

"Ms. Nelson did not see nor recognize the young man who was injured," said D'Emilia. "Completely taken by surprise, Ms. Nelson did not see the young man running toward her car. The young man rose and ran off after the incident." 

D'Emilia added: "The District Attorney is aware of this long and unrelated sequence and should have been forthcoming with that fact in its presentation to the Court and the media." 

Prosecutors said Nelson fled the scene and in what prosecutors alleged was an effort to conceal her crimes, allegedly traded in her Honda for a newer model, “even though her lease was not set to expire,” prosecutors said.

Nelson was initially charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting personal injury.

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