SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — A San Mateo attorney is facing a lawsuit that accuses him of running over a teenage kayaker with a ski boat while intoxicated last fall, leaving the teen with catastrophic injuries.

Police say Stephen Andrew Chiari was drunk when he ran over 15-year-old Francesco (“Chicco”) Adamo in October last year in the Marina Lagoon in San Mateo.

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In photos provided by the teen’s family lawyers, the injuries they say the 15-year-old sustained in the incident are visible. The complaint filed by the family states that the boy sustained deep lacerations on his back, a crushed chest impacting his lungs, a head wound and skull fracture including damage to the base of his brain and a spine injury.

The teen’s parents are calling for the San Mateo County District Attorney to files felony charges against Chiari.

Chicco’s parents described the traumatic moments in a press conference Friday morning.

“The boat didn’t slow down. It pointed toward us and then made a turn and pointed toward my son,” said his father, Filippo Adamo. “It’s been very frustrating, the experience with the DA. First of all, because we didn’t hear from him for a very long time after the accident. Then I tried to make a move to find the DA.”

The family says the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office eventually told them after six months that Chiari would not be charged with a felony. Instead, he faces two misdemeanor charges: operation of a boat under the influence and reckless or negligent operation of a boat.

“To now learn that the DA is only charging this man with a misdemeanor is offensive and unacceptable,” said the boy’s mother Debra Scott in a press release. “My son was shredded and nearly killed by this mans boat as he sped along a recreational waterway while intoxicated and he is going to be charged with a misdemeanor.”

The parents also questioned whether Chiari’s background as a former Oakland police officer influenced the district attorney’s decision to only charge him with misdemeanors.

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KPIX 5 reached out to the San Mateo County DA’s office for comment on the case, but has yet to receive a response.

Despite the severity of his wounds, Chicco has now recovered to the point of being discharged from the hospital although he does face extensive rehabilitation.

Dozens of specialists, including trauma, orthopedic and neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, critical care physicians and surgical staff all played a role in Chicco’s recovery, according to Stanford Children’s Health.

“I felt like I was back in the military operating theater in Iraq since Chicco’s injuries were so severe,” said Dr. Gerald Grant, Chief of pediatric neurosurgery as quoted on the Stanford Children’s Health website.

Chicco returned to school part-time in January, and will gradually progress toward attending full-time as he builds back his strength, the website reported.

Chiari referred all questions about the case to his attorney. He did however release a prepared statement writing, “My first concern is for the wellbeing of the injured young man. My family and I are heartsick over his injuries and wish him a full recovery.”  

 

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