A 19-year-old Bayonne man, already up on charges for driving while intoxicated, , has now been slapped with two counts of aggravated assault as a result of an accident last Saturday that left two young girls in critical condition, one of them paralyzed perhaps for life. The teen was arraigned Tuesday on DWI and assault charges in Jersey City.
This type of drunk driving tragedy is charged with emotion and considerable sadness, not only for the victims and their families, but also for the relatives of the young suspect. Although it appears that this is the teen’s first DWI arrest, the addition of aggravated assault charges makes it all the more important for him to have a qualified legal professional on his side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of John F. Marshall have experience defending cases just like this one.
The events leading up to Tuesday’s court appearance transpired, according to police, in the early morning hours of April 18. Witnesses stated that a 1996 Honda Passport allegedly driven by Michael Garbacki drove straight into a group of people including two young women. The Honda not only injured the girls, but also crashed into two other cars in a parking area beside Port Jersey Boulevard just before 2 a.m.
When police arrived, one woman, 19-year-old Jillian Elias from the Bayonne area, was lying unconscious; another girl, Yajaira Montes, 21, also from Bayonne, was found seated on the back of a parked car, conscious but with head and leg injuries, police said.
Both were taken to the Jersey City Medical Center where they remain in the intensive care ward. Elias is reportedly paralyzed, while Montes, who suffered a broken neck, is expected to recover, but will likely be hospitalized for at least one week.
According to reports, the Honda that Garbacki was driving belonged to the father of the passenger riding with him, an 18-year-old who the suspect said only had a provisional license and therefore was not allowed to drive after 12 a.m. Police arrested the intoxicated teen at the scene and took him into custody.
Following the arrest, Garbacki was released on $25,000 bail. However, upon his appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court early Tuesday, Judge Richard Nieto told the teen that aggravated assault charges were also being filed against him. Sheriff’s deputies took him away in handcuffs as his family watched.
Returning to court later on Tuesday, Garbacki was advised that his bail for the latest charges was being set at $100,000 cash or bond.
Grim ‘DWI’ arraignment for teen, NJ.com, April 21, 2009
Grim ‘DWI’ arraignment for Bayonne teen, NJ.com, April 21, 2009