POLK CITY, Fla. – A woman in Florida died weeks after being run over by a group of teens as she defended her son on Nov. 9, according to reports.
The woman, Suzette Penton, was trying to defend her son from the group who assaulted him following an ongoing romantic dispute, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The teens intentionally ran over Penton with a church van, causing traumatic brain injury, a skull fracture, a broken leg, a ligament injury to her left knee and she was aspirating fluid into her lungs, according to an arrest affidavit.
Officials said 18-year-old Elijah Stansell was driving the van. The incident was caught on video, where deputies said Stansell had the opportunity to avoid hitting Penton but directly ran over her.
The incident began when Stansell came to Penton’s home to confront the son, who is the ex-boyfriend of his 16-year-old girlfriend, deputies said. The girlfriend and Penton’s son were getting into fights on social media, deputies said. The girlfriend gathered her friends and Stansell to go to Penton’s son’s home to beat him up, according to reports.
Deputies said when the group arrived, the son was attacked.
When Penton arrived home, she tried taking photos of the van to help identify those who attacked her son, deputies said.
“When she comes back, we see that our ringleader here, along with the other two, just kind of hurry off, back to the van. Suzette actually sees the fight,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “She gets out and goes to the van in her car. Suzanne is trying to take photographs of the getaway van. Elijah Stansell, Elijah Stansell runs over her, completely over her. She has tire tracks on her body where he runs totally over her.”
Video shows the van sped off after the crash, according to reports. A Polk County utility worker witnessed the incident and followed the van in his work vehicle until deputies could pull the suspects over.
Stansell’s charge is expected to be upgraded from attempted murder to murder, according to reports. The other teens will not face murder charges since they weren’t driving but will be tried as adults rather, according to reports.