Meryl Streep’s nephew, Charles Harrison Streep, fled the scene of an ‘obscenely’ violent attack as the victim he sneeringly dismissed as ‘just Spanish,’ lay bleeding on the ground with injuries that left him only minutes from death, DailyMail.com can reveal.
This is the horrifying scenario described by 31-year-old Streep’s alleged victim, David Peralta in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.
Now, speaking out in full and for the first time since the alleged attack on August 24 Peralta, 18, has shared shocking details of the incident, his injuries and their devastating legacy.
According to Peralta, ‘I didn’t deserve this. He said a bunch of racist things to me, just because I’m Hispanic. I don’t know what that has to do with anything.
‘He said he would throw me to the ground, threatened me and said I was ”just Spanish.”’
David Peralta, 18, was hospitalized with severe head trauma and needed emergency surgery after the altercation with Charles Harrison Streep, 31
Meryl Streep’s nephew Charles Harrison Streep, 31, (pictured) has been charged with viciously attacking Peralta
Peralta showed DailyMailTV the massive scar on his head and says he’s been left homebound and fearful
Peralta’s parents, Edgar, 47, and Jeny, 44, are from Ecuador though he himself was born in America, where he has lived all of his life.
He said, ‘I thought this only happens in movies. I never thought anything like this would ever happen to me. I’m not a bad guy. I’m not a bad person. I just work, come home, see my girlfriend and my family.
‘I don’t know why I deserve this, why this has happened.’
Streep is the son of Meryl’s brother Dana Streep and his wife Mary
Streep was arrested at his parent’s East Hampton home three days after the alleged assault and just a five-minute drive from the Chase Bank parking lot in which the altercation took place.
He has been charged with felony counts of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation and released on a $5,000 bail while he awaits criminal proceedings.
Meanwhile Peralta’s family has brought a civil suit describing this as a, ‘completely unprovoked, violent and malicious attack,’ and demanding damages.
The 18-year-old college student had been due to start his sophomore year at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Instead he has been left homebound and fearful, struggling to pick up the pieces of a life shattered in a matter of minutes, by a chance encounter one summer morning.
His summer, to that point, had been pretty much like any other. Each day he rose at 6am to head to his first job at the tennis courts at SPORTIME, East Hampton, then took a break before heading to his evening shift at popular village restaurant, Dopo La Spiaggia where he worked as a food runner.
By July, and after years of holding down two jobs every summer, he had saved up enough to buy his first car – a brand new, bright red Mustang. It was his pride and joy, and the car in which he and his girlfriend, Christina, were riding through East Hampton on the morning of August 24.
Peralta recalled, ‘We were just going to get breakfast and she needed to get cash at the Chase.’
Charles’ convertible Audi sportscar sits in the driveway of an upscale East Hampton home
Peralta is now planning to sue the star’s famous nephew (pictured), claiming it was an anti-Hispanic hate crime after he allegedly shouted anti-Hispanic slurs during the attack
Peralta was hospitalized with severe head trauma and needed emergency surgery after the altercation with Streep in a parking lot outside a Chase bank in East Hampton on August 24. Peralta pictured in hospital after emergency surgery
Some of what happened is lost to Peralta due to the severity of his injuries which saw him unconscious and with a brain bleed
As Peralta made to turn off the main street, he said, ‘Streep blew through a Stop sign and we almost collided.
‘He started screaming at me for no reason. I remember that I told him, ”You have to make the Stop sign.” And I thought that was it.’
But the angry verbal altercation between Streep in his Audi convertible and Peralta was just the start, as the older man made an illegal U-turn and came back for more.
Peralta said, ‘I just kept driving to the bank and then I see he followed me, and he gets out of his car and starts yelling at me multiple times about being Hispanic.’
According to Peralta, Streep also mocked his youthful appearance asking, ‘What are you? 14 or something?’
Some of what happened next is lost to Peralta due to the severity of his injuries which saw him unconscious and with a brain bleed.
But he remembers Streep got out of his car and angrily approached Peralta’s.
Peralta said, ‘I’m like, ”Why has he followed me?” and then he starts yelling and screaming. I was with my girlfriend and I have a new car and I didn’t want anything to happen [to either of them] so I got out too.’
Peralta continued, ‘He starts coming at me, pushing me. He said, ”You’re just Spanish I’m going to slam you to the ground… [after that] I don’t remember much because I went unconscious until I remember waking up. I saw I was bleeding, like my knees and my knuckles and my nose and my head.’
Peralta may never remember exactly what happened but his girlfriend Christina Lopez, 17, gave DailyMail.com an account of what she witnessed that day.
Lopez, in her final year at High School, told DailyMail.com, ‘It all happened so quickly. The guy, Charles, started screaming at David and David was like, ‘What are you going to do? Why?’
‘And he said, ”You’re going to see what I’m going to do,” and started laughing then he got out of his car and David did as well.’
Christina recalled Streep pushing Peralta and Peralta pushing back and bringing Streep to the ground in a brief scuffle.
According to Christina, David ‘never threw a punch and just let go,’ at which point Streep seized the moment to lock David in a choke hold.
She said, ‘I was completely frozen. David was already bleeding from his head and from his nose.’
Peralta may never remember exactly what happened but his girlfriend Christina Lopez, 17, gave DailyMail.com an account of what she witnessed that day
Pictured the scene of the incident. An attorney for the 18-year-old is calling for Streep to face hate crime charges over the attack
Streep, she said, had David in a choke hold and was, ‘just dangling him.’
She said, ‘David wasn’t touching the ground and it was a good five seconds that he had him like that. I was telling him to please stop.
‘I was finally able to move and there were people around by then saying, ‘Oh my God stop!’
‘The guy just threw [David] to the ground with force and fled the wrong way through an entrance.’
Seeing Peralta’s limp and bleeding body dangling in a choke hold while she could do nothing to help him, is something that causes Christina great distress to this day.
She said, ‘I couldn’t sleep at first because I saw it whenever I closed my eyes. But I try to be happy and upbeat when I’m around David.’
Peralta declined medical treatment on the scene because, though horribly shaken and scraped up, he thought he was okay and just wanted to get home.
But he and Christina had barely got there when, he said, ‘I started seeing spots and stars and I just had this really bad headache. It was so strong. I was literally screaming in pain.’
Peralta called his mother. The memory of that call is clearly painful to Jeny who was at work as a childminder at the time.
She told DailyMail.com, ‘My son called me, and he was just screaming, ”Mom, mom something happened.” But he couldn’t explain he was just crying and screaming.’
Christina called 911 and while he was taken in an ambulance to the local hospital, she and Peralta’s mother went to the police station.
Jeny was on her way back when she received another alarming call. This time it was her older son, Peralta’s 26-year-old brother, Diego.
She told DailyMail.com, ‘He told me, ‘Mom, my brother is going to die.’
And the bottom fell out of her world.
Peralta’s medical bills have already reached $80,000 with the prospect of a lengthy recovery and continued treatment ahead. Pictured are all the medication he is required to take daily
According to his mother Jeny, the boy who came back from hospital a week after surgery, is not the same boy who went to get breakfast with his girlfriend on August 24
Peralta, pictured with his friends, now has a regimen of medication and pain killers and instead of dates with friends, his schedule is populated by appointments with specialists, check-ups, therapy and CAT scans
She said, ‘I was in shock, I wasn’t understanding what he was telling me. I kept saying, ‘Just tell me the truth.’ And he said [this was the truth] my son could die.’
Medics had discovered a bleed on Peralta’s brain. He needed emergency surgery that was beyond the small hospital’s capability.
Barely a couple of hours after that innocent drive Peralta was being airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital in Southampton – the nearest facility with Level 1 Trauma capability. And every second that passed was a second closer to irreparable brain damage or death.
Today a crescent scar arcs across Peralta’s skull where surgeons went in to remove his skull cap and ease the pressure on his brain. The staples were only removed two days before he spoke with DailyMail.com and he moved his hand tentatively over it.
He has not been able to start back at college and the truth is there is no way of knowing when, or if, he ever will.
He has a regimen of medication and pain killers and instead of dates with friends, his schedule is populated by appointments with specialists, check-ups, therapy and CAT scans.
According to his mother, the boy who came back from hospital a week after surgery, is not the same boy who went to get breakfast with his girlfriend on August 24.
He is forgetful, quiet and often sad.
He doesn’t want to go out anymore she said and the car that brought him such brief joy sits unused in the driveway.
Jeny said, ‘He’s not like he was before. Seeing him at home is hard. He asks my why this happened to him. He’s totally different.
‘But I’m here trying to support him and trying to be strong for him and I am thankful to God because my son is alive.’
Streep (pictured) was arrested and charged with beating and choking the Long Island student. Streep was previously found guilty of disorderly conduct/physical offense (engaging in fighting or violent conduct, using obscene language or gestures) in an incident linked to a traffic stop in Pennsylvania in 2012
He has been charged with felony counts of second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation and released on a $5,000 bail
Meryl Streep is pictured in 1986 with her brother Dana, who is Charles’ father, sister in law Mary and husband Don Gummer
Edmond Chakmakian is the attorney representing Peralta in his civil suit against Streep. He is determined to hold the son of privilege accountable for his client’s suffering, and the uncertain future that has impacted on every member of this close and loving family.
At time of writing Peralta’s medical bills had already reached $80,000 with the prospect of a lengthy recovery and continued treatment ahead.
Chakmakian told DailyMail.com, ‘David is never going to be the same. This is a major event in his life. Instead of attending school right now his life has been relegated to the house, watching television, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, CAT scans, follow ups with the neurosurgeon. This is really tragic.’
He continued, ‘The level of violence is really shocking. For him to take this young man’s limp body, after he had choked him unconscious and slam him on the ground…it just rises to the level of obscenity in my view.
‘And I think to any rational, compassionate person with a heart it’s just beyond comprehension. It’s beyond entitlement. Perhaps he thinks that because of his bloodline or his famous father or aunt he can act with impunity.’
Streep’s own father Dana, 67, is also an actor, albeit one thoroughly in the shadow of his more famous sibling, Charles’s multi-Oscar winning aunt.
As well as their home in the Hamptons the family own a large property in Connecticut and Charles, one of four siblings, has had every opportunity in life that his parents could afford him.
Peralta says he wants justice and ‘If you’re famous or have money it doesn’t mean you can treat other people just however you want’
But this is not the first time he has had a brush with the law, though it appears to be by far the most serious.
Court records obtained by DailyMail.com show that Streep was found guilty of disorderly conduct/physical offense (engaging in fighting or violent conduct, using obscene language or gestures) in an incident linked to a traffic stop in Pennsylvania in 2012.
Today, Chakmakian is adamant, ‘The legal system, both on the criminal and the civil front is going to show him that there are consequences for your actions.’
When DailyMail.com approached the Streep family for comment at their expansive East Hampton home Charles’s mother, Mary, answered the door.
She dismissed inquiries on the subject as ‘trashy’ and said, ‘there are two sides to every story,’ but declined to elaborate further.
For Peralta’s part, he said, he hopes for justice and to recover.
He said, ‘If you’re famous or have money it doesn’t mean you can treat other people just however you want.
‘It’s not how this world is supposed to be. It’s not how we’re supposed to treat each other.
‘I want justice. More than that I want him to pay for what he did to me.
‘And I know it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be long, but I just want to recover from this.’