Mom Accused Of Running Over Son’s Teen Bully Twice With Her Car Acquitted Of Attempted Murder

A mother will do whatever it takes to protect their child. However, does this mean they should resort to violence?

mom, bullying, teenager, son James Carbone / Newsday; IvelinRadkov, gelyngfjell / Canva 

They say that a mother’s love for her child is so fierce that she would kill for them. But does this mean she actually should when presented with the chance?

One Long Island mother is dividing opinions after she decided to take matters into her own hands against the teenagers who bullied her son, eventually facing charges of attempted murder that could have landed her in prison for up to 25 years.


The mother hunted down her son’s bullies with a bat and ran over one of them twice with her SUV before fleeing the scene.

Thirty-six-year-old mother, Jennifer Nelson, from Shirley, Long Island, was horrified when she discovered that her 15-year-old son had been robbed of his sneakers and AirPods, and was left concussed with his nose broken by a group of bullies at his high school.

Overwhelmed and angry, her mama bear instincts kicked in and she decided to confront her son’s bullies herself, bringing a knife and a bat along with her. She eventually found the group of teens in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. “Once in the parking lot, Nelson threatened a group of students while brandishing a knife and a small bat,” the DA’s office stated, per Law & Crime.


During the incident, one of the teens left the parking lot and fled to the one across the street. Nelson decided to follow him “at a high rate of speed, and drove directly at the victim who was standing in the parking lot,” the prosecutors at Nelson’s trial reported. The distraught mother ran over the teenager with her SUV twice, resulting in “multiple broken ribs and pelvis fractures.”

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Later that day, Nelson traded in her Honda SUV, although the lease had not yet expired, allegedly in an attempt to conceal evidence of the crime.

At her trial, she testified that she did not know she ran over the teen and would have called the police immediately if she suspected she had, according to Newsday.


Prosecutors criticized the mother for the “incredibly misguided” actions she demonstrated on that day. “This defendant’s incredibly misguided attempt to avenge the alleged victimization of her own child is no excuse,” Suffolk District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney stated in February 2023 while explaining the details Of Nelson’s second-degree murder charge.

“Citizens cannot take the law into their own hands, and should instead work with law enforcement and my office to seek justice in every case.”

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However, when Nelson was found not guilty on all charges, it sent shockwaves across the courtroom.

Nelson told Newsday that she felt “relief” with the outcome since the entire incident has been “a lot” on her, her son, and everybody involved.


Although the mother dodged prison time, she could face “one to four years of punishment” and be fined “not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law.”

While Nelson and her son may feel relief that the trial ended in their favor, many people may believe that justice has not been properly served. After all, another teenage boy, who was another mother’s son, was left physically shattered and in excruciating pain at the hands of another parent.

When a mother’s child is hurting, oftentimes she feels the pain on a deeper emotional level. When our heart and soul that exists outside of our body are hurt, it is natural for us to feel angry, scared, and helpless.

Mothers feel as if it is up to them and only them as their child’s biggest advocate to take matters into their own hands to do whatever they can to fix their pain. However, this may not always be the best approach.


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While confronting the person who hurt their child, a mother is most likely going to be overcome with emotion, therefore clouding her judgment and failing to take a moment to step back and evaluate all aspects of the situation. It may require getting some professional help on the scene.

It is important to note that violence is not the best solution. Engaging in violence can result in not only physical trauma, but psychological damage as well, and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, and personality disorders in those who experience it.

Photo: Aljandro Carniccro / Shutterstock


Children who have parents who react violently to certain situations also have direct consequences that affect them.

American psychologist Albert Bandura states that children often imitate any violent behavior patterns they witness, and soon, they may react with violence to any given situation.

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Although, when it comes to your child being bullied, there are different methods other than violence that parents can help them understand.

You should validate your child’s confusion and hurt, and ensure that they know that the bullying is not their fault. Alert their teachers at the school of the issue and write letters to other staff members so they are aware of the problem.


If the bullying continues, keep persisting (non-violently) until your child feels safe going to school and the bullies are spoken to by another adult.

It is true that when mothers learn that their child is being hurt, they will want to burn the entire world down and destroy the source of their child’s pain. Their feelings are completely valid. However, this does not mean that it is appropriate to act on them the way they imagine they would.

As parents, the first thing they should always do is hug their child, tell them they love them, and make sure they know they will always be in the corner, for comfort, for support, and, most importantly, for the safety that their children desperately need.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.