“Comatose Little Girl Gets Ticket for Jaywalking”

Las Vegas: “Allegedly, [13-year-old] Takara Davis was jaywalking when she got hit [by a car]. So a police officer showed up at the hospital and gave the ticket to her mother, Kellie Obong.” [Above the Law]


  • Depends on the situation… in my minivan, last night, well after dark, in a 35mph zone with three lanes and a middle turn lane…. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and realized there was some teenage moron sprinting across the busy road. Teen is an estimate, since he was wearing a black hoodie and I was kind of trying to make sure I didn’t hit him, it was dark, any morons that might be with him, or get hit by anyone trying not to KILL the SOB. I guess he could have been a very short, thin guy in a hoodie…..

    Yes, giving it to the mother while the kid was being put in emergency was crass. I feel sorry for the poor SOB that hit her, if she was jay walking.

  • “I feel sorry for the poor SOB that hit her, if she was jay walking”

    You can feel less sorry for him, since as the child was cited for jay-walking, the driver is less liable to be held liable for her injuries.

  • Screw the legal sides– the was there something I could have done will haunt him forever…. especially if he’s a parent.

  • Can they really give a jaywalking ticket to a third party? I would argue improper service since they didn’t give the ticket to the girl who jaywalked and had her sign the ticket.

  • @Benjamin

    She’s a minor. He mother is responsible for her anyway.

  • From the phrasing in the article, I think the ticket was officially issued to the kid, and merely physically given to the mother. It not like you can stuff the ticket into the pocket of the hospital gown.

  • I don’t always stick up for the cops. When they do something stupid (which is not infrequently) I think they should be held out to ridicule for it, and they should be liable for out-and-out malfeasance.

    This is not one of those cases, lawyer blogs calling for “compassion and common sense” notwithstanding. (BTW, how many times have you seen compassion, common sense, or even just plain justice prevent a lawyer from skimming the dollars the letter of the law allows, fairness be hanged?)

    In this case, if no ticket was issued, 2 years later the gorked girl with her brain injury is rolled into court as the tort suit alleging all sorts of carelesss, malfeasance, and even evil intent by the driver is being heard (after all he did swerve up upon the sidewalk to get her!!). By this time no witnesses are available, and the the jury of 12 people too stupid to avoid jury duty hand down a six- or seven-figure verdict for the poor, injured, permanently compromised plaintiff. Here at least is extemporaneous proof that the girl was not blameless. Hooray for the police on this one!!

  • In this case, if no ticket was issued, 2 years later the gorked girl with her brain injury is rolled into court as the tort suit alleging all sorts of carelesss, malfeasance, and even evil intent by the driver is being heard….Here at least is extemporaneous proof that the girl was not blameless.

    A ticket is an accusation. It is not a conviction. It isn’t “proof” of blame, one way or the other.

  • There is a lot of discussion about the potential liability on the part of the driver when/if this all goes to court in a civil suit. Eric T makes several points about how the ticket is an accusation, does not absolve the driver, and may backfire in the court, but let’s hypothesize that he was driving along, obeying the law, and suddenly a child sprinted onto the street right in front of him and was hit. I’m sure he would be worried about the child. I’m also sure that he would do everything he could to limit his exposure to the potential liability.

    If this goes to court in say 2 years, would any of us want to be sitting there in a he said/she said argument with a severly injured child and nothing to support our position that we did nothing wrong? Giving the ticket to the mother at the hospital feels cold, but I’d be curious to know what Nevada law states. Is it possible that the police did in fact have to serve the ticket at that time? If so, we can argue the law is an ass, but the police officer had to follow it.

  • Could not the ticket have been, say, mailed to the family? If the real intent is to memorialize the charge that the girl was jaywalking, then mail delivery ought to have sufficed, no? Either way, it’s all on record.

    Betcha the driver is a bigwig with the pull to get it done *now* because he says so. If true, he just weakened his case rather than strengthened it; imagine, two years from now, trying to convince a jury to side with a driver who insisted on giving a ticket to a comatose 12 y.o.

    Lotta speculation, tho; we’ll see what else we learn. But it’s all sufficiently weird that it requires explanation.

  • So far, there lots of speculation and not too many facts other than a child was hit by a car and a citation was issued.

    It would be interesting to hear how long elapsed between the poor kid getting clobbered and the citation being issued was. I know here in the Seattle area, serious injury / fatal traffic accidents can tie up the roads for several hours to allow time for collection of facts, measurements and other physical evidence before being cleared (never mind the days to weeks of subsequent analysis and report writing).

  • If establishing a record is the issue, the cop should just write a report. The rest is just piling on, and will likely backfire against the driver, anyhow, especially if it turns out that the driver instigated the citation in some way.

    I still don’t understand why jaywalking is worthy of a citation in any event, but maybe that is because I grew up in the suburbs, where we used to play in the street and cross the road anywhere we wanted to.

  • Looking in on it from the outside there’s something amazing about the calmness with which people accept that it is a crime to cross the road in America. Not if you’re creating a danger, not fleeing the scene of a crime or any of that, just not following the white lines.

    It’s a road, you look both ways and you cross when there’s no traffic. No one ever needs to go to jail for that.

    @no Hu, “the gorked girl with her brain injury” ? It’s always a pleasure to meet an obviously classy guy.

  • Maybe some other states are different, but in mine any citation would be irrelevant and inadmissible in any legal action against the driver.

  • While the ticket might be inadmissible, should the family be too busy with the funeral to fight the ticket, which would result in her being found guilty of the jaywalking charge, would that fact be admissible?


  • I may be asking a silly question here, but is there any indication that the cop knew the girl was comatosed or badly injured when the ticket was issued?

    For some reason I keep seeing this image of a cop walking in the hospital, asking for the child, being told she is still being examined, being pointed to the mother and issuing the ticket.

    There is no indication from the report as to when the ticket was given.

    Whether the cop was insensitive or not depends on the sequence of events and when the ticket was given.

  • Stephen –
    Given that she was hit by a car, it’s pretty dang clear that “jaywalking” in this situation would still be a crime with all of your qualifications.

  • In my state a conviction of a minor traffic offense or the forfeiture of bond on a charge is inadmissible, a guilty plea is admissible if inconsistent with a later position.

  • ” What kind of self-absorbed jerk of a police officer walks to the hospital to do that job?”

    a cop who gets paid by the ticket… It’s that way here with many police departments. Each cop has a quotum to meet, if they write X number of tickets in a given year for Y Euros at least they get promoted and a bonus. If they write less, they get a reprimand which means they can say goodbye to promotion for years to come.

    I’ve little doubt it’s the same in many US departments.

  • Police in Boise Idaho issued a citation to a boy hit by a car last week.

    Of course, this boy wasn’t in a coma. Both stories happening about the same time, makes me wonder, maybe this is fairly common practice, but doesn’t make the newswire normally. This time it did because of the circumstances of the girl fighting for her life in the hospital when the citation was issued.

  • So if I rob a liquor store and cut myself badly when I run through a glass door to escape, I should not be citied? Are cops supposed to give a free pass to those who injure themsevles badly when committing a minor crime?
    In reality cops often do not cite those who are injured, but I dont agree with this policy, and some of those same people later sue my company!

  • I side with the Police on this one. No doubt the girl’s parents will try to sue the driver. Good for the Police for memorializing the fact that the girl was crossing the street in an unsafe manner.

  • Good for the Police for memorializing the fact that the girl was crossing the street in an unsafe manner.

    Guilty until proven innocent. I remember all about that in civics class.