A California teen has awakened from a coma nine months after he was pushed into oncoming traffic, according to published reports.
The family of Angel Figueroa, now 16, told local outlet NBC 4 that after the incident in February that left the teen with a traumatic brain injury, he is making strides by relearning basic physical movements.
Now working on tasks like lifting his legs and opening his eyes, Figueroa has been moved to a rehabilitation center in Orange County, according to published reports.
“Not quite responding or communicating with us, but just moving little movements give us a sign of hope, you know,” Figueroa’s aunt Belki Brizuela told NBC 4.
“There’s hope that he’s going to come out of this.”
Figueroa was pushed by a “group of young people” into the path of a white Tesla on Feb. 28, according to published reports.
According to People, the Hemet Police Department’s report on the incident says that Figueroa was riding his skateboard on Stetson Avenue before “a brief altercation ensued” when the boy was pushed, and the “group of young people fled the scene following this incident,” and that Figueroa’s skateboard was missing.
“Angel was jumped by three to four kids over … they were trying to rob him for his skateboard,” Belki Brizuela told local outlet ABC 7.
Brizuela said that once at the hospital, part of the teen’s skull had to be removed. “I couldn’t recognize him he was so swollen. His head was really big. He had so many scars,” she told NBC 4.
“And bruises everywhere, and cuts… I can’t wrap my mind around it. Why? You know, what was the reason to do that you know?”
Brizuela told NBC 4 that the teen who pushed her nephew was sentenced to six months in juvenile hall, with the three others under house arrest, which she called “a slap on the wrist” and a “joke.”
According to local outlet Fox 11, the driver of the Tesla stopped immediately after hitting the teen and faces no charges.
Figueroa’s aunt has launched a GoFundMe with the goal of covering his medical bills.
“We’re trying to save up money for a van and get all the equipment that he needs,” Brizuela said to NBC 4.
As of Monday, donations for the family have reached over $40,000, surpassing the goal of $35,000.
The aunt told NBC 4 that the family has no plans to celebrate the holidays and instead will spend time with the teen, hoping he makes a full recovery.
“Teach your kids, like, it is not fun and games, you know? It’s not a joke when you go out with your friends,” Brizuela told ABC 7.
“Every decision you make there are consequences.”