He is not forgotten.
The seventh-annual remembrance for Paul Zaccaria, a teenager who died in 2006 in a tragic jet-ski incident, was filled with folks — family, friends, an elected official, and members of the veterans’ motorcycle club Rolling Thunder Chapter 1, NY — who remembered Zaccaria by releasing a memorial wreath into the Mill Basin water.
“We purchased a wreath and it said ‘In Memory of Paul Zaccaria from Rolling Thunder,’ ” said Peter De Angelis. “It was made of real flowers — it was a pretty big wreath.”
Susan McCormick, a member of Rolling Thunder and a close friend of the Zaccaria family organizes the motorcycle club’s annual rememberance.
Zaccaria 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 flouted court orders by following media reports on the case.
“The defendant got away with murder,” Siara Ossa, a friend of Paul’s, said at last year’s memorial.
Councilman Alan Maisel attended this year’s gathering and spoke to a Chapter 1 member about a bill, stalled in Albany, requiring every jet-ski purchaser to be 18.
“That might stop a few deaths,” said De Angelis.
The years continue to pass, but the emotions surrounding Zaccaria’s death remain the same.
“It’s still pretty emotional,” said De Angelis.