Family, friends ‘fight for justice’ for woman dragged by car several blocks in NE Portland
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Police say two weeks ago a 20-year-old woman was dragged underneath a car for several blocks in northeast Portland before the vehicle eventually stopped.
18-year-old Sonia Velasquez-Anicui is charged with the crime.
On Saturday, friends and family of the victim, Naomi Gonzalez, gathered to show their support for her, at the place where police said it happened.
Minerva Ramirez, a cousin to Gonzalez, said she saw a video taken at the scene of the crime, which court documents say shows the victim being dragged beneath a car, allegedly driven by Velasquez-Anicui, for several blocks.
“I think the goal of this is to spread the word of end the violence and have it stop here,” Ramirez said.
Witnesses told police Gonzalez was hit by the car, pulled beneath it, and dragged for several blocks at 40 to 50 miles per hour before it eventually stopped. At one point, a man says that he banged on the Velasquez-Anicui’s window, told her what was happening and begged for her to stop.
Gonzalez suffered horrific and life-threatening injuries, which were photographed. Court documents say the pictures made an officer audibly gasp when they first saw them.
“We just all want to be here fighting for her while she can’t be here fighting for herself,” Ramirez said.
Crystal Rojas, another cousin of Gonzalez added, “This event is tragic for everyone and devastating for her family as well.”
Gonzalez remains in the hospital fighting for her life, where doctors say it is likely she will survive.
However, friends and family said she’s in rough shape.
Court documents state that Gonzalez’s mother told an officer that her daughter would wake up at times in extreme pain and scream “Help me!” before being sedated.
Ramirez said she had a recent visit with her cousin where she was able to hold on strong.
“And the first thing she said was, ‘I’m so sorry for sleeping. I didn’t realize you were coming,’” Ramirez said. “And the second thing she said was, ‘How are you feeling? How are you doing?’”
Rojas said her cousin is a sweet and loving single mother.
Rojas and Ramirez explained the rally is meant to share their concerns about the suspect being released on bail after her bond was set at $75,000. She is charged with second-degree attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and assault.
Defense attorneys filed a pre-trial release motion for the 18-year-old suspect, saying Velasquez-Anicui was not aware the victim was under her car, she stayed at the scene of the crime and she does not have a prior record.
“In one day, they were out, while my cousin is still in the hospital fighting for her life,” Ramirez said. “We want everyone to know that we as a community will stick together when things like this happen and we are going to fight for justice.”
The family has set-up a GoFundMe on behalf of Gonzalez, who is expected to need reconstructive surgeries.
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