The man accused of drunkenly plowing into parade goers at Endymion in New Orleans may not face much jail time. That’s according to legal analyst Tim Meche, who says 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto is only charged with negligent vehicular injury, a hit and run with serious injury, and reckless operation after police say he crashed his truck into a crowd and sent 21 people to area hospitals.
“Fortunately for him no body died. That helps him a lot, and really the statute that he’s going to be charged under has a maximum five year sentence,” Meche said.
New Orleans police say Rizzuto’s blood alcohol content was .232, nearly three times the legal limit. A judge reportedly says if the suspect can make his $125,000 bond, he’ll be put on house arrest and not allowed to drive. Meche says Rizzuto’s circumstances aren’t really that bad.
“Leon Caznizzaro is going to do everything he can to make an example of this guy, but the statute that he’s charged under just doesn’t carry a lot of jail time,” Meche said.
Despite at least 28 reported injuries, Rizzuto only faces two counts of negligent injuring for two serious injuries named in the police report. But Meche says more charges could be added as the investigation unfolds. He says Rizzuto’s public defenders will likely try to play the sympathy card in court.
“He was probably abused as a child and maybe has mental health issues, and chances are they may be able to paint a sympathetic picture of this guy,” Meche said.