December 29, 2011
The story was terrifying. Back in Oct. 2010, an eight-year-old Long Island boy was repeatedly stabbed in the back by a 24-year-old stranger while playing video games at a Dave & Buster's restaurant.
But though the unnamed boy is still suffering from the after effects of such a shocking attack — he constantly looks over his shoulder and refuses to visit public places — he also just received a nice pick-me-up from a compassionate and well-connected Nassau Court judge named Jerald Carter.
During the public sentencing of assailant Evan Sachs to 14 years in prison in September, Carter inquired about the boy's favorite athlete. When told it was New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, the wheels in Carter's mind began to turn as he told the boy's mother that her son would grow up to be as big as Jeter himself.
Anne Givens of Newsday has the whole story :
What Carter did not say at that time was that he had played college baseball with the Yankee shortstop's father, Charles Jeter, at Fisk University in Tennessee, and the two had maintained a relationship.
A few weeks later, a package arrived at the boy's home ... In it, there was a signed baseball, an autographed photo of Jeter, a Yankees teddy bear, a magnet, and a copy of "Derek Jeter's All-Star Manual: 10 Life Lessons," DalFonso said.
"He was overwhelmed," the boy's mother said. "He was so excited, he called his dad right away."
The story gets even better. When the boy's family contacted Carter to thank him for the thoughtful gesture, they received another surprise: An invitation to sit in Jeter's luxury suite at Yankee Stadium — and a presumable meet-n-greet with his hero — at a game next season.
Though Jeter and his father is obviously the hook for Givens' story, I'm really awed by the commendable actions of Carter that are also contained within the article. Not only did the judge use his personal connections to bring a much-needed smile into the boy's life, he also went above and beyond to demonstrate to the boy that his attacker will be locked up for a very long time and that he can feel like he is safe. It's a heartwarming thread in an otherwise horrific story.
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