Endymion parade crash driver goes free today, some victims angry


He ran over a crowd of people at the Endymion Parade in 2017, and now Neilson Rizzuto gets out of jail today for the drunken crash.

It is not sitting well with some of the 28 people he injured.

"I was one of those people he ran into at that parade and spent EIGHT DAMN MONTHS in the hospital because of this guy and he gets a slap on the wrist!? WTF!," one victim texted WWL Radio.

Under new Louisiana laws, offenders deemed non-violent only have  to service 35% of their sentences.

Rizzuto served about 17 months of a five year sentence.

Another victim upset with the early release told WWL TV, "I wake up in pain ever single day. I can't live a normal life still.  I have to urinate in a plastic bag."

"I am pissed," another victim said. "I have bills, thousand and thousands of dollars of bills."

Another said, "It was pretty minimal compared to the extent of our injuries and the number of people who's lives were impacted."

Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino says this is all being done according the recent law revisions designed to reduce the Louisiana prison population.

''This guy is really being treated like anyone else would be treated in the criminal justice system," Ciolino said.. "He's not being singled out because this crime got a lot of press.'' 

Judge Benedict Willard sentenced Rizzuto to five years in prison, one year was suspended and Rizzuto received credit for the 11 months he’d already spent in jail since the crash. 

Rizzuto pleaded guilty to all felony charges in the crash. Authorities say his blood alcohol level registered at almost three times the legal limit in Louisiana.

Rizzuto must serve one year of probation and attend Alcoholic Anonymous and Mothers Against Drunk Driving meetings.

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