Child shot given Tylenol and a Nap


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cerberus
November 20, 2004, 12:15 PM
Full Story at:http://amarillo.com/stories/111704/new_613197.shtml

A mother who delayed seeking medical treatment for her 2-year-old son after he was shot is facing felony charges.

The boy's 17-year-old uncle and a man are charged in connection with the accidental shooting of Nathan Vela on Thursday. Vela remained hospitalized Tuesday but should be released soon, officials said.

Sylvia Ann Alcozer, 21, is charged with endangering a child by criminal negligence for allegedly waiting hours before taking her son to a hospital, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in the 47th District Clerk's Office. The charge is a state jail felony.

The toddler's uncle, Marcus Cruz Alcozer, is charged with reckless injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, for allegedly shooting the boy accidentally, according to the complaint.

Police arrested him the day of the shooting. He remained in the Potter County Detention Center late Tuesday.

Roberto Guadalupe Vasquez, 19, is charged with unlawfully transferring a handgun to a child younger than 18. According to the complaints, Marcus Alcozer wanted to buy a gun and got the .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun from Vasquez with an agreement to pay Vasquez later.

Sylvia Alcozer and Vasquez were not in custody late Tuesday, according to jail records.

Larry Canada, 47th assistant district attorney, said officers will try to contact Sylvia Alcozer and Vasquez and give them a chance to turn themselves in.

The shooting occurred about 12:30 p.m. Thursday at a home in the 1400 block of South Ricks Street. Marcus Alcozer told police he had dropped the gun, then picked it up and pulled the trigger without checking to see whether it was loaded, the complaint states.

A bullet struck Vela in the arm and entered his chest, stopping near the boy's spinal cord. He suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung, according to the complaint. A police report stated that Sylvia Alcozer was at home at the time of the shooting but didn't seek treatment for Vela for at least four hours.

"(Sylvia Alcozer) gave him Tylenol and some juice and laid him down for a nap," according to the complaint.

"Sylvia Alcozer told police that she only thought the bullet had grazed her son's arm and it only bled slightly," the complaint states. "Officers retrieved a sock and a cloth which had been used in an attempt to stop the bleeding."

She finally took Vela to a local hospital about 5 p.m. Thursday, according to police reports. The boy is expected to be released soon from the hospital into the custody of Child Protective Services, said Holly Campidilli, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services.

CPS has a court order to find temporary placement for the boy, possibly with another family member or in a foster home, Campidilli said. The agency will work to reunite the boy with his mother or find him another home, depending on what a judge rules is appropriate, she said.

After the shooting, Marcus Alcozer allegedly returned the gun to Vasquez, saying "he (Alcozer) had done a stupid thing," according to the complaint. Marcus Alcozer allegedly told Vasquez that he had been cleaning the gun when the shooting occurred.

Marcus Alcozer initially was booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. Canada said the investigation indicates that Marcus Alcozer likely had no intention of hurting the boy and didn't try to hide the gun, though he gave it back to Vasquez.

Canada described Marcus Alcozer as distraught about injuring his nephew.

"There's no question he was torn up about it," Canada said.

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Standing Wolf
November 20, 2004, 03:53 PM
Marcus Alcozer allegedly told Vasquez that he had been cleaning the gun when the shooting occurred.

Yeah. Right. Guns just go off all the time while they're being cleaned. It's probably the manufacturer's fault. There are probably five assault lawyers on the case already.

Bad Words
November 20, 2004, 04:32 PM
I think you missed part of it, Standing Wolf. He said that to his friend, then told the truth to police.

"Marcus Alcozer told police he had dropped the gun, then picked it up and pulled the trigger without checking to see whether it was loaded."

Stand_Watie
November 20, 2004, 04:50 PM
This is why child access safety laws work so well - because the kind of people who's children usually (not exclusively) get shot use good judgement and are worried about following the law:rolleyes:

Blue Line
November 20, 2004, 05:31 PM
Never assume that a gun is unloaded

Always have it pointed in a safe direction

Take you kids to the Hospital if you violate either of the above, Duh

critter
November 20, 2004, 06:23 PM
The SUM of the IQ's of all involved in this shooting (excluding the child) is still in single digits! What a bunch of loonies!

spacemanspiff
November 20, 2004, 07:32 PM
they shoulda rubbed some robatussin in the wound.







but i digress.......

M1911Owner
November 20, 2004, 09:08 PM
I find it rather obnoxious for government agencies to go around second-guessing the way people deal with situations that they neither asked for nor anticipated, but were, rather, thrust upon them.

Before I go farther, I tend to agree that the aggregate IQ of the whole bunch seems to be in the single digits.

That said, the mother did act to deal with the situation, albeit in an ineffective manner--she gave the child Tylenol, and had him lie down and remain relatively motionless.

I conjecture that lack of funds might have been a concern. Given the surnames, their was a good chance they didn't have health insurance. I have a friend who jabbed herself in the arm on a knife that was sticking up in the diswasher, causing a deep cut about 1/2" wide. She was uninsured, and it cost her $900 to get it stitched up in the emergency room.

It is quite possible that the mother delayed going to the ER because she knew that they didn't have the money, and expected that they would be turned away because they couldn't pay.

A .22 caliber entry wound isn't very big. The mother may not have understood the severity of the small wound.

She might have done something different if the whole lot of them had an aggregate IQ that was out of single digits. Given that you don't really get to choose your IQ, she may have been doing that best she could with what she has.

My point is that our society is awfully quick to condem someone for not doing what they would have done in a difficult situation. This is not a case where the mother endangered the child by leaving him home alone to take care of the pet lion. Or left the child strapped into a closed up car on a 110 degree day while she spent the afternoon in her boyfriend's bedroom. This is a case where things went very wrong, and she likely did the most reasonable thing that she could think of. It doesn't help anybody to drag her through court, and possibly jail the child's mother.

And I mean that litterally--It doesn't help anybody. It doesn't help the child, it isn't going to raise the IQ of the mother, and making an example of her isn't going to make some other mother smarter when she has to deal with a disaster.

(I would be willing to entertain the argument that the mother is incompetent, and should therefore have the child be taken from her, and should be sterilized so that she doesn't bring any more into the world. The former does, of course, raise the issue of foster care being so bad that it is probably, in any case, better to leave the child with the natural parents.)

Andrew Rothman
November 20, 2004, 09:38 PM
It is quite possible that the mother delayed going to the ER because she knew that they didn't have the money, and expected that they would be turned away because they couldn't pay.

Riiiiight. Except that medical ethics, not to mention federal law, requires that the hospital treat any emergency injury or illness.

More likely she didnt want to get the idiot felon 17-year old uncle in trouble for shooting the kid.

Rule of thumb: Gunshot wounds should be cause for seeing a doctor.

Corollary: If you gots money to buy a gun, you gots money to pay the doctor bill when you shoot yer nephew with it.

M1911Owner
November 20, 2004, 09:55 PM
Riiiiight. Except that medical ethics, not to mention federal law, requires that the hospital treat any emergency injury or illness.
And, in fact, she could easily have learned that with a few hours research at the local law library.

gaston_45
November 20, 2004, 10:21 PM
Law library. Now that is the funniest thing I have read all day considering the intellegence shown in this case. She didn't know enough to take the kid to the hospital but she should have known to go to a law library and look up whether or not medical care can be denied in an emergency? :scrutiny:

On top of that, if she doesn't have a job that provides insurance or sufficient money for treatment then likely she does not have the time nor the education to go spend hours in a law library reading books written in a mix of two languages that over half the population can't understand.

Don't missunderstand. I don't like seeing a child shot and the wound mistreated any more then you do, but at the same time it does not serve justice to throw her in jail for improperly treating a gunshot wound. Most doctors do not have practical experience in gunshot wound treatment but you expect someone like this to do it with no training whatsoever?

I guess I should be in jail if that is the case. I was working on the ambulance when we got a call for a woman with difficulty breathing. We treated her for the symptoms presented but she did not get better. The e.r. doctors did the same with the same results. Finally they took a chest x ray and found a 22 caliber bullet near her rib cage in the back. It turns out she had been shot and the bullet entered her areola, travelled through her lung and lodged near a rib in back. She never complained of any pain and there was no blood when we looked her over. Four different people looked for signs of trauma, none found it and she was not complaining of pain.

If the kid was the same way would you take your kid to the hospital for a nick on the arm or count yourself and him lucky that all it did was nick him and treat what you see? I sure know what I would have done before the above incident, now I would do something completely different. But then I have been educated a bit more.

Wingshooter
November 20, 2004, 10:30 PM
I conjecture that lack of funds might have been a concern. Given the surnames, their was a good chance they didn't have health insurance.

I don't know that lack of funds is an issue. If you spend much time in ER's you will notice that most of the waiting rooms (with 10-12 hour waits) are full of people that go there because they know they don't have to pay. That is why they suffer the long waits. Also, many of them bring in their kids for the most minimal things. It is very seldom a true emergency, yet they pack into the ER. The ER is clogged up and the fast track clinics are full to overflowing.

I don't think the financial status or surname are the problem. More than likely they were afraid of getting into trouble.

sfhogman
November 20, 2004, 10:31 PM
M1911Owner, I don't necessarily agree with all you've said, but I gotta admit that last post was pretty sly. Well done!

Jeff

Wingshooter
November 20, 2004, 10:43 PM
I guess I should be in jail if that is the case. I was working on the ambulance when we got a call for a woman with difficulty breathing. We treated her for the symptoms presented but she did not get better. The e.r. doctors did the same with the same results. Finally they took a chest x ray and found a 22 caliber bullet near her rib cage in the back. It turns out she had been shot and the bullet entered her areola, travelled through her lung and lodged near a rib in back. She never complained of any pain and there was no blood when we looked her over. Four different people looked for signs of trauma, none found it and she was not complaining of pain.

No offense, but you didn't know your patient was shot... they did.




In your case maybe a good SAMPLE history would have picked up on that. :)

Of course if they don't tell you then you don't know.

victory
November 20, 2004, 11:26 PM
i was just thinking chris rock yelling "You don't need no doctor, have some 'tussin!"

sm
November 20, 2004, 11:38 PM
My thoughts are for the welfare of the child.

Something in my gut tells me there is a LOT more to this , like drugs, alcohol , perhaps "guests" in the home. Perhaps waiting for BAC or other matters to settle before seeking medical treatment.

Folks show up at the ED all freaked out over their kids being sick or injured...adults might put off themselves, children...they call or show up at all hours of the night...ask any Ped Doc or Nurse.

Rumpled
November 20, 2004, 11:45 PM
If as many people who claimed that firearms discharged accidentally while they were cleaning were telling the truth - there would be a hell of a lot of clean firearms in the US!

Blue Line
November 21, 2004, 07:17 AM
I think maybe the act of shooting the nephew (police would have to be called to the ER) and possible INS action that would ensue may have been the cause of the delay. The ER's are full of people who don't pay (welfare) and those that can't pay. The ER is full of people with minor problems that a DR could treat but since they don't have insurance they KNOW to go to the ER to get it done. Most of these people can't pay and are aware that the ER is the place to go. I'm sure they’d been to the ER before.

I'm just glad the kid didn't die quietly in bed.

As far as second guessing what anyone would do, everyone on this board does it everyday. We rant about this and about that so why wouldn't we Monday morning QB this case too?

Andrew Rothman
November 21, 2004, 06:48 PM
And, in fact, she could easily have learned that with a few hours research at the local law library.

...Or that big ol' sign in every ER waiting room... :rolleyes:

victory
November 22, 2004, 01:38 AM
so, here i am, working night shift on the ambulance with no calls yet this night.

I gotta say...for all the morons who call us for stubbed toes and other assorted BS....what the hell was this woman thinking?

The_Antibubba
November 23, 2004, 12:51 AM
She could've given him Aspirin!!!

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