Pic via Newsday.com
An eight-year-old boy was inexplicably stabbed repeatedly by a stranger at a Dave & Buster's back in Oct. 2010. After Nassau County judge Jerald Carter sentenced the culprit, he learned that the victim's favorite sports star is Derek Jeter. Carter had played college baseball with Jeter's father, Charles Jeter, at Fisk University in Tennessee, and the two still knew each other. He did not tell the boy this.
Carter had been told by the boy's mother, Lisa DalFonso, that her son had been totally traumatized by the attack. Now he doesn't go to birthday parties or restaurants or anywhere public anymore, and he can't take two steps without looking over his shoulder.
So Carter went above and beyond. First he contacted Jeter, who then sent a package to the boy's home. (I got this story from Newsday, who reported they were not using the boy's name because his mother had requested it, what with his being a crime victim and 9 years old now and all.) The package bore a signed baseball and photo of Jeter, a Yankees teddy bear, a magnet, and a copy of Derek Jeter's All-Star Manual: 10 Life Lessons.
Then Carter invited the boy to visit his chambers, where he showed the boy on a map how far away he lived from the prison where the culprit, Evan Sachs, was incarcerated. He showed the boy a holding cell like the ones in that prison, and showed him how strong the bars are.
"I want to give him some idea that he is safe from this person, and that this is not going to happen again," Carter said.
Carter also told the boy that Jeter had invited him to sit in his luxury box for a Yankees game once baseball season starts back up in the spring.
I just hope the kid turns out okay. I'm thrilled that Jeter is reaching out, and honestly, I'm an even bigger fan of the judge, Carter, in this story than Jeter. I mean, both are obviously doing great things to help a single kid, but the judge is going way out of his way to try to help this boy recover. Trauma like this can ruin a kid forever, but it sounds like the boy has a tremendous support system in place.