Meryl Streep’s Nephew Faces Felony Assault Charges After Violent Road Rage Incident Where He Attacked Latino Teen; Teen Claims Streep is ‘Racist’
Photos: via 7davinho/Instagram; GoFundMe
Meryl Streep’s nephew, Charles Harrison Streep, faces felony assault charges after a violent road rage altercation gave a Latino teen permanent brain damage.
The teen, whose name is David Peralta, 18, claims that Streep is “racist” and hurled racial slurs at him before attacking him in a Chase Bank parking lot in East Hampton, New York, on August 24th. Peralta’s family hails from Ecuador but he has lived in the U.S. all his life.
According to Peralta, the altercation began when Streep allegedly ran a stop sign and almost hit Peralta’s car.
Surveillance video obtained by The Daily Mail (which can be seen here) shows the two men pulling into a parking lot and appearing to exchange words out their car windows. The footage then shows Peralta getting out of his car. Streep exits his car and quickly approaches Peralta. Peralta puts his hands up in a defensive position and Streep appears to attack him.
Peralta–who was a high school wrestler–responds by grasping Streep, lifting him up, and throwing him to the ground. Streep quickly gets up and begins to strangle Peralta, lifting him up in the air in turn and throwing his body to the ground, where he begins to drag his apparently unconscious body. Streep then leaves Peralta on the ground before getting into his car and driving away.
Peralta claims that before Streep attacked him, he made racist remarks about him.
“He starts coming at me, pushing me,” Peralta recounted to The Daily Mail. “[Streep] said: ”You’re just Spanish I’m going to slam you to the ground…” Peralta says after that, he went unconscious.
In the video, Peralta stands up after the assault, holding his head and appearing dazed. According to court documents, he refused medical attention at the scene. It was only later that he was airlifted to the nearby hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was told that he had a brain bleed that could lead to permanent brain damage or even death. He then went into emergency surgery.
According to Peralta’s family, the teen was forced to drop out of school, where he had been studying criminal justice.
“He is staying in his room. He doesn’t want to go out,” Peralta’s mother told The East Hampton Star. “He is sad. His life is not easy now. He’s frustrated because his life changed.”
Three days after the incident, Streep was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation. Streep’s lawyers insist that it was Peralta who was the aggressor, but the footage clearly shows Streep initiating first contact.
“The level of violence is really shocking,” Peralta’s lawyer told The New York Post. “For him to take this young man’s limp body, after he had choked him unconscious and slam him on the ground…it just rises to the level of obscenity in my view.”
The East Hampton community has rallied around Peralta, with a group of his supporters appearing at the court hearing on October 8th. Streep, it should be noted, was a no-show. One of Peralta’s supporters was Alexandria Preston, 27, who believes the incident is racially motivated.
“This can easily just be viewed as just a road rage incident, or just an incident happening within the Latino community,” she told The East Hampton Star. “But no, it’s a racial incident, and it’s systemic racism.”
Another supporter told the East Hampton Star that Streep is the prime example of what unchecked privilege can do to a person. “This is a man who represents an ill in our community here of ultra-rich people, of ultra-famous names, who feels that he is above the law,” said the woman.
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