Evelyn Paterson said her husband, 84-year-old Malcolm Paterson, began showing signs of dementia after he crashed into the Lincoln Elementary School playground in Palm Desert last October. Adrian Grajeda, who was 10 years old at the time, was severely injured and lost part of his leg. Paterson never recovered from what happened.
“He thinks about that accident every morning he wakes up and when he goes to sleep,” said Evelyn Patterson. “He’s not going to get better and he’s only going to get worse, and that’s what’s happening now.”
Paterson was scheduled to appear in court for a trial readiness conference on Wednesday morning, but he was once again a no-show. He faces felony charges of driving under the influence, causing injury.
Paterson’s attorney, Geoffrey Yaryan, said it was because of his client’s medical issues. However, Mrs. Paterson said that’s not all.
“He had no idea he was supposed to be there. Our lawyer did not inform him. That’s the crux of the matter,” said Paterson.
Evelyn Paterson said that’s the same reason her husband missed his first court hearing in July.
“It’s been a lengthy process. Too long, in my opinion. We feel justice hasn’t been served,” said Brandy Grajeda, Adrian’s mother. She said her son continues to recover, but delays in the legal process make it difficult for their family.
“It’s really rough because it’s kind of living the emotions all over again every time it happens. We feel he has no remorse. It’s kind of upsetting,” said Grajeda.
Grajeda said Adrian’s adjusting well. With a prosthetic leg, the now sixth grader’s playing his favorite sport, soccer, but, he’ll need more medical care in the future.
“He does understand and he forgives. He wants to just let the whole thing go and be over with,” said Grajeda.
“What people say about Malcolm, is a thoroughly decent man. Everyone says it was an accident. It was a shame. He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Evelyn Paterson.
A judge is expected to release a warrant for Malcolm Paterson’s arrest if he doesn’t show up for a court hearing on Monday. Paterson’s wife said because of her husband’s poor health, he will likely not be there and she’s contacting their attorney.