A relieved father credits a pair of Faded Glory jeans with helping his 7-year-old daughter survive being shot during a wave of gun violence in the Bronx.
A bullet grazed little Arianna Maldonado on her leg while she was walking with her father on the city streets over the weekend.
Seven other people weren’t as lucky as young Arianna — the city was horribly shaken by gun violence that sent the weekly murder rate soaring from two murders last year to 10 this year.
New York Daily News‘ coverage of Arianna’s jeans possibly saving her from suffering a more serious injury included her father, Juan Maldonado, briefly explaining what happened.
“I heard the shot. My reaction was to run after she got hit. She started screaming, ‘It hit me! It hit me!’ And, ‘It hurts!’ I looked with the flashlight on my phone and seen that she had been grazed.”
Maldonado added how Arianna’s jeans may have saved her from a more serious or fatal wound.
“From what the doctor in the EMT and the captain said, she was very lucky it was just a graze. The pants stopped everything from being a lot worse. It would had been a very bad flesh wound, if it wasn’t for her jeans.”
Dressed in her pink Barbie nightgown while she clutched a teddy bear she graciously received from NYPD community affairs officers, Arianna recalled the life-threatening experience.
“It felt like it burned me. I ran to my dad and then he saw it and he checked it.”
According to police, young Arianna was a survivor of 24 hours of gun havoc across the city that left seven people dead and three others wounded.
On Monday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton commented about the increase in the city’s homicides.
“On any given day we have a homicide a day, actually less than that. [The violence] encompassing Friday, Saturday, Sunday — that’s twice as many as we would normally have in the city.
Commissioner Bratton was somewhat dismissive was asked whether the NYPD’s old stop-and-frisk tactic might have prevented the weekend of turmoil.
“When we had 600,000 stops we had more crime. When are you going to get it? Many less stops, we have much less crime.”
Arianna was fortunate to survive the recent mayhem in the Bronx. She was doing well and was eventually released from Lincoln Hospital. Maldonado said Arianna is in second grade, attends Public School 157, and said she can’t wait to get back in school, “when the bruise goes away.”
Outside the family home, 35-year-old Juan said Arianna is doing all right physically, but the young girl may need counseling to get over the trauma.
“She’s laying down now. She’s actually relaxing.”
[Featured image via Richard Harbus/New York Daily News]