A plea for a full pardon entered by attorneys on behalf of two 17-year-old juvenile males who face charges for their role in the July 4th death of a man who was struck by a car while jogging on Huntington Drive was rejected last week, according to a source familiar with the case. Attorneys claimed that the juveniles had no previous offenses that would warrant further punishment, the source said.
The two defendants are now scheduled to appear in front of a judge for a hearing on Friday, December 20, where they face charges of vehicular manslaughter, street racing and other offenses in the death of Gabriel Crispo, who was killed while jogging in the Huntington Drive median on Thursday, July 4 at 10:34 a.m.
Crispo and his dog, Niño—a Labrador Retriever which also died at the scene—were struck by a white Mercedes that had allegedly been involved in a street race in the westbound lane of Huntington Drive at the intersection of Kenilworth Rd. Crispo, a native of Argentina, was a Spanish and ESL teacher at Daniel Murphy and St. Francis High Schools and, most recently, Pasadena City College. A third suspect in the street race was investigated, but has not been charged.
The two suspects surrendered their driver’s licenses and are attending high school.
A source told The Tribune that the District Attorney’s office is seeking terms as long as a year in a juvenile detention camp for the suspects.
Meanwhile, a complaint for damages has been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the two suspects and their parents by an attorney representing Rosa Crispo—Gabriel Crispo’s mother—and Marta Franco, Gabriel Crispo’s girlfriend and the owner of Niño. Franco was jogging behind Gabriel Crispo when the accident occurred.
The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for negligence in what is called the “wrongful death” of Crispo, for negligence in the survival action and for violation of Civil Code section 3340; which specifies wrongful injuries to animals committed willfully or by gross negligence.
The suit does not indicate a dollar amount, but on the first count requests general damages in excess of the minimum jurisdiction of the court, special damages in excess of the minimum jurisdiction of the court, court costs and “further relief the court may deem just and proper.” On the second count, the suit request special damages according to proof and punitive damages against the two minors, On the third count, the suit seeks punitive damages against the two minors, court costs and “further relief the court may deem just and proper.”
“Mr. Crispo was a treasured member of the community and his loss has been felt by his family and friends across the globe, from Los Angeles to Argentina,” said Mark Hiepler, the attorney for the plaintiffs. “This case is about holding these individuals accountable for their negligent and reckless behavior, which led to this tragic loss.”