A case that sent shock waves through the parent community: In the parking lot of an elementary school, a Michigan mother ran her SUV over the head of her 9-year-old son. It was said that the behavior was “simply inexcusable,” but the punishment she received is perhaps much worse.
The Michigan mother named Tiffany Kosakowski, 36, ran over her nine-year-old son Julian Kosakowski one morning outside Chandler Woods Charter Academy in Belmont, Michigan, because he decided not to go to school. The young child was walking next to the family car when the mother drove erratically in a shocking display of negligence.
Kosakowski told Julian to enter the building after he had followed his mother out of the school and approached her SUV after she had dropped him there. However, the son refused. He seized the door handle instead. His mother accelerated rather than pulling over.
The son was then seen holding onto the handle of the passenger-side door for over 50 yards as his mother drove away when he lost his grip and rolled underneath the car. The boy was then run over by the rear tire of the car, which ran over his head and body mom Kosakowski immediately stopped the car, but the boy had already suffered serious injuries.
The boy’s head was fractured and multiple bones in his body were broken when the mother ran over him in the school parking lot when she was attempting to shake the boy’s hold on the door handle of the car.
In a court document, as she attempted to shake off his hold, Kosakowski also “admitted to moving the steering wheel from left to right, then accelerating the vehicle.”
Thankfully, Julian survived, much to the amazement of his physicians, although he spent a week in a coma. Due to the severe injuries he sustained, he would thereafter need ongoing care and physical treatment.
However, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Curt Benson told the mother in a Michigan courtroom, “It is simply inexcusable what you did,” as Tiffany Kosakowski was charged with second-degree child abuse and reckless driving causing serious injury.
Explaining that the rear wheel went over Julian’s “full body, full head” the Judge added, “Your little boy has suffered terribly.”
The boy’s father, John Rodriguez, testified before Judge Benson during Kosakowski’s sentencing, expressing how his sadness was exacerbated by his several unsuccessful attempts to avert a tragedy like this. Despite trying “for years” to step in because Kosakowski was “so unstable, so crazy, and so dangerous,” according to Rodriguez, who also claimed that he had warned detectives that “something is not right” he said, he hadn’t seen his son in 5 years before seeing him in a coma in the hospital.
Recalling seeing his son in a coma, Rodriguez said,
“His head covered in wires [and] tubes and sensors in his mouth and all over his little body. Investigators measured 47 yards, someone drove 47 yards swerving left and right to shake him off.”
Rodriguez continued by saying that his kid has suffered a traumatic brain injury and will never be the same after detailing how Julian was discovered in a pool of blood on the pavement.
In an effort to get Kosakowski a harsh punishment, Rodriguez told the judge. While some had other opinions, a total of 30 letters from family and friends were sent to the judge, and the majority of them, with the exception of letters from Julian’s father and an aunt and uncle, supported Kosakowski.
“Of the 30 people who wrote the letters, I’ll be quite blunt with you: I am not sure all of them would be as supportive, if they, like I, watched the security footage of this incident which is simply inexcusable. It was really hard to watch, and I am not sure you would enjoy as much support as you evidently do, had that been widely distributed,” Benson said.
Anna Rapa, Kosakowski’s lawyer, characterized her client as a “loving parent” whose top priority is her son’s recovery, saying that the mother is the “only stability” that a child has. Kosakowski then earned just 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to reckless driving, which she was allowed to serve on the weekends so she could take her kid to his doctor appointments, so Judge Benson must have agreed.
In a plea deal, the second-degree child abuse accusation was dropped. At the time of her sentencing, Kosakowski was still in charge of her son, who has a twin sister and was taking him to the doctor. Perhaps that is a reason for Benson’s seemingly lenient sentence. As Kosakowski was originally given a 6-month sentence by Benson, but all except the final 30 days were suspended. She was also placed on probation for five years.
Tiffany Kosakowski will likely face more punishment for the remainder of her life, as Judge Benson’s apparent allusion. The court stated that while he didn’t want to prolong the boy’s agony by removing his mother for an extended period of time, Julian would know his mother had caused him harm, he noted.
“I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life. All I care about is being there for my son as he recovers and supporting him every day as I have been doing,” Tiffany Kosakowski said. Expressed her remorse, and acknowledged that she would have to live with the guilt of causing her son’s disabling injuries.
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