Hit-run still devastates Nguyen family

Hit-run still devastates Nguyen family

first_img“Was there any assistance at all given to the victim by the defendant?” Deputy District Attorney Richard Quinones asked. “No,” Garmajo said. The tragic story of this young Vietnamese man with cerebral palsey, looking forward to a better life for his family in the United States, touched a lot of people. Hundreds of readers sent in donations that were used to help support William’s wife and baby while he’s recovering, and to help buy him a $5,000 communications board so he can “talk.” And on his birthday Thursday, he was typing out thank-yous to everyone who had sent him cards. Meanwhile, the Nguyen family is looking for a little heart from the property management company that runs the apartment complex where William and his wife and baby lived for three months before the hit-and-run. Gantz Investment Properties Inc. sent the family a bill for more than $1,000 in move-out charges. The company kept the couple’s $850 security deposit, and it demanded an additional $197.74 for painting and patching the apartment, and fixing a leak on the ceiling – caused by the apartment above. When the Nguyens, who paid the bill, asked why they had to pay $430 to fix a leak in the ceiling they did not cause, Sandy Gantz, president of Gantz Investment in Tarzana, responded in a letter with this: “No one in your apartment notified us about the leaking ceiling until a small wet spot became a very, very large water problem,” she wrote. “You are responsible to report all problems in a timely manner according to your lease.” Maybe the answer to why the Nguyens didn’t respond in a timely manner, Sandy, was because the family was at Northridge Hospital Medical Center day and night, praying that William would survive nine operations after being run down in his wheelchair. I tried to reach Sandy all week, but she never returned the calls. A person working at the company’s Ventura Boulevard address said by phone Thursday that she’s out of the office a lot. I hope they don’t have a ceiling leak while she’s gone. A William Nguyen fund is still open at the Washington Mutual Granada Hills/Chatsworth branch, 17900 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills, CA 91344. The account number is 3160612913. The account does not keep track of the names of the people who donate, so the Nguyen family would like to thank you personally if you want to give Lisa a call at (818) 599-8354. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “That man stole my brother’s life and dreams. William’s just so frustrated and angry. All he wants to do is go home and be with his wife and baby, but he can’t. He’s still too weak and needs constant care.” After five hours of testimony, Garcia was ordered held for trial on charges of hit-and-run driving, drunk driving and driving with a suspended license. He will be arraigned on April12. If he pleads not guilty, the case will go to trial. The day laborer showed no emotion as witness Arlin Lopez Garmajo stood up in the witness box and pointed at Garcia as the man he saw jump the curb in his white pickup truck and hit the young father in his wheelchair, dragging him 30feet through a wrought-iron fence before hitting a tree. Police found William under the truck, still in the twisted wreckage of his wheelchair. He was put into a drug-induced coma while doctors readied him for nine surgeries he would undergo in a month to piece together his shattered body. “He (Garcia) crawled out of the passenger window, climbed a fence, and just walked away,” Garmajo testified. William Nguyen spent part of his 38th birthday Thursday typing thank-yous on his communications board to Daily News readers from his room inside a Chatsworth group home. Across the Valley, his sister, Lisa Nguyen, sat in a Van Nuys courtroom at the preliminary hearing of the drunk-driving suspect accused of running down her brother in November as he was returning to his Canoga Park apartment in his wheelchair after buying a Santa Claus outfit for his baby boy’s first Christmas. She was in court Thursday, Lisa said, because after months of hardship and tears, her family needed closure. This would have to do. “I’m hoping we’ll get some closure today, on William’s birthday,” she said, watching Jesus Ruiz Garcia being led into the courtroom in handcuffs. last_img

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