Wednesday, August 3, 2022
A reciprocal censure has been imposed by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department based on facts stipulated to in a New Jersey censure
On February 2, 2018, the respondent was attempting to secure her legally owned 9 millimeter semiautomatic handgun for transport when it inadvertently discharged. The discharged round, which traveled through a wall in the respondent’s home, struck a minor child in the right thigh and buttock. After examining the minor’s wound, the respondent cleaned it, and wrapped it with a sweatshirt that had been on the floor, but failed to summon medical or emergency assistance.
Thereafter, the respondent telephoned her former husband, Wouter Smits, who is a part-time emergency medical technician and surgical technician, to ask him to examine the minor’s wound. Wouter, however, did not answer the telephone and the respondent left a voice message which failed to reveal that the minor had been shot. When Wouter returned the respondent’s call approximately 35 minutes later, the respondent informed him of the gun’s discharge and the injury to the minor. Wouter replied that he would examine the wound after he went to Home Depot to purchase painting supplies for the respondent’s new home.
Approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes after the minor had been injured, Wouter arrived and examined the minor, at which time Wouter determined that the wound likely required stitches. Despite this, the respondent still did not seek medical care for the minor.
Subsequently, more than two hours after the firearm had been discharged, the Wayne police arrived at the residence to perform a welfare check after being informed of the incident by a friend of the minor who had observed a social media post wherein the minor revealed that the respondent had shot him. The respondent admitted to the police that she had accidently shot the minor, and claimed that she had been preparing to take the minor to the hospital. The police, after
examining the minor’s wound, observed that it was still bleeding and called an ambulance. The ambulance ultimately arrived almost 2½ hours after the initial injury.
Both Respondent and Wouter were charged and entered a pretrial intervention program. (Mike Frisch)