He’s gone, but not forgotten.
The veterans’ motorcycle club Rolling Thunder Chapter 1, NY, once again extended its kindness to Jo-Ann Zaccaria in funding a memorial wreath for her late son Paul, which was cast into the Mill Basin waters not far from where the then-16-year-old boy died in a tragic jet ski incident.
“Two of our guys knelt down and let it go by the docks,” said Susan McCormick, a member of Rolling Thunder and a close friend of Zaccaria. “There was a bag pipe playing as they did it. It was really beautiful.”
Before the wreath was launched, Paul’s friends and family read poems and eulogized the young man, who lost his life on June 30, 2006, when Aristotle Plagianakos rammed his jet ski into Paul’s, sending the boy plummeting towards the water and his death.
Manslaughter charges were leveled against Plagianakos for his part in the boy’s death, but he was acquitted of all charges in 2009. Paul’s loved ones maintain that justice was frustrated by numerous factors throughout the trial, including witness intimidation and jurors who flauted court orders by following media reports on the case.
“The defendant got away with murder,” Siara Ossa, a friend of Paul’s, said at the memorial.
“He was my friend, too,” said Plagianakos, following his acquittal.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn