Mother of Ortiz shooting suspect insists he is innocent; attorney calls him unwitting accomplice
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Justina García, the mother of Eddy Vladimir Féliz García, sat in the sweltering waiting room of the small courthouse where her son was expected to be charged formally Tuesday in the shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
García will be charged with accomplice to attempted murder, said Erick Montilla, a spokesman for the Public Ministry of Santo Domingo Este, which is prosecuting the case.
García said she had not slept since Sunday, thinking of her son, whom she has not been able to see or talk to.
“Destroyed,” she said in Spanish. “I feel very destroyed.”
After watching the video of her son bloodied in the street after he was attacked by a crowd enraged by Ortiz’s shooting, she said, “I keep thinking, How is he? Is he alone? Is he hungry?”
“The whole world is against him,” she said.
She called on authorities to conduct a full investigation that would exonerate her 23-year-old son and asked the public to wait for all the information to come out before making a judgment.
“He is innocent,” García said. “Please investigate this fully. Don’t accuse this innocent man.”
García’s lawyer Deivi Solano said he had been unable to speak with García, who makes a living as a motorcycle taxi driver, picking up fares over the phone and on the streets.
Solano said he believed that García was the driver and picked up a fare in “good faith,” thinking he needed a ride.
Then the man he picked up fired at Ortiz.
“This boy did not do anything,” Solano said.
“He was totally surprised by what happened.”
Solano said García grew up worshiping Ortiz and other Red Sox players like Pedro Martínez and Manny Ramírez.
“He is David Ortiz’s No. 1 fan,” Solano said. “Since [Ortiz] won the World Series in 2004, he has cut out articles and pictures of Ortiz and put them on his walls.”
Solano said authorities can hold his client for 48 hours before they have to bring him before the Ministry of the Interior.
It was unclear when those 48 hours would end Tuesday because the incident happened late Sunday night.
So Solano had to wait with García’s mother in a small lobby. Other women, whose sons and husbands had been held for weeks by police following drug charges, tried to comfort García as she clutched a green towel to wipe her face.
“It’s hard to stay calm,” one woman said, putting her arm around her.
Solano said Ortiz’s fame makes the case especially challenging.
“David Ortiz is the most loved player in this country,” Solano said. “People need to remember that [García] is a human being.”