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Driver gets 3-10 years in prison for running down woman on Southwest Detroit street

Victim suffers nerve damage after being run over by car

Surveillance video shows a woman being run down by a vehicle June 24, 2018 in Southwest Detroit. (WDIV)
Surveillance video shows a woman being run down by a vehicle June 24, 2018 in Southwest Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Nicole Mardeusz has been sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for running down and striking Shaina Sarnowsky with a vehicle on June 24 in Southwest Detroit.

Sarnowsky, 23, was being dropped off at the VFW Post 4553 on Campbell Street when someone in a green Ford Escort sped by and threw a cup of coffee and bottle of beer at her. Sarnowsky ran into the street to flag down the driver. That car went halfway up the block but turned around, sped up and ran down Sarnowsky.

Nicole Mardeusz at her sentencing on March 8, 2019. (WDIV)
Nicole Mardeusz at her sentencing on March 8, 2019. (WDIV)

The incident on Campbell Street between Merritt and Plumer streets was captured on surveillance video. It shows Sarnowsky being struck by the vehicle with her head going under a wheel. Somehow she stood up and walked away from it, but not without serious injuries.

This may have all started at a party store down the street where Sarnowsky got into some sort of argument. Two or three people in the Escort followed her to the VFW where she volunteers.

"She was hit at 40 miles per hour and dragged 40 feet down the road. That's after she bounced off the windshield of the car, and it was intentional," said the victim's mother Josann Cicotte.

Cicotte can't understand how or why anyone would do this.

"They don't even know her. My daughter was coming here to volunteer and do the time that she normally does, she likes to volunteer. No one had any right to do anything to my daughter," said the mother.

Shaina Sarnowsky
Shaina Sarnowsky

The vehicle never stopped, but police eventually tracked it down and arrested the driver. Mardeusz originally was charged in August with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident.

She pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon in exchange for the other charges to be dismissed.

Sarnowsky underwent surgery and has been recovering ever since. She offered a statement at Mardeusz's sentencing, explaining the severity of her injuries and offering some back story to what led up to this.

Shaina Sarnowsky in court on March 8, 2019. (WDIV)
Shaina Sarnowsky in court on March 8, 2019. (WDIV)

She said Mardeusz first approached her at Dobry Market on Junction Avenue. She said Mardeusz drove by and shouted at her, calling her a hooker as she waited outside for a ride from a friend.

"She proceeded to follow us while still yelling and making hand gestures toward me as I arrived to put in volunteer work," said Sarnowsky.

Watch the full sentencing hearing here:

She said she is suffering from pain including nerve damage that has affected her cognitively. She showed the court a scar on her head where two car tires ran her over.

Mardeusz said she doesn't know why she did it. She apologized, but never offered a raeson for why she hit Sarnowsky with her car.

"You don't appear to be a bad person, but you did a bad thing," said the judge.

Watch an interview with Sarnowsky here just days after the incident:

"I wasn't yelling. I was just more or less throwing my hands up like, 'What's wrong with you?'" said Sarnowsky. "I hit the top of the hood of her car, her windshield, and then I fell back down and as I fell back down I would think she would stop then, but she just drove right over my head. Honeslty, the whole time when I was just rolling under the car I just thought, 'stay alive.'"

She underwent two hours of surgery to close a deep gash on the side of her head. Sarnowksy said she was more confused than angry.

"I just want to know what was that for? She obviously didn't want to answer so she ran me over," she said.


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