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Judge says boot camp 'doing its job'

September 15, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Two months ago, a 17-year-old boy appearing in Washington County Juvenile Court leaped over a railing and wrestled with two deputies in an unsuccessful effort to get away.

On Wednesday, that same teenager stood before Judge John H. McDowell again, this time in camouflage garb, standing straight and answering questions crisply with a military tone.

"You make a good appearance here today," McDowell said. "Boot camp seems to be doing its job."

According to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Mark Wolfe, it was that very commitment to boot camp on July 21 that set the teen off in the courtroom.

On that day, McDowell had ordered the commitment because of a violation of a previous probation. The underlying offense for which that probation was imposed wasn't known.

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During the struggle with Cpl. Dennis Mummert and Deputy 1st Class Robert Waugh, the teen struck Waugh and attempted to bite him, Wolfe said.

Since then, the teenager has been at two placements, the most recent at Meadow Mountain Boot Camp, where he has "adjusted well" in the 20-week program, according to a Department of Juvenile Justice spokesman in court Wednesday.

McDowell accepted the teen's admission to the offense of second-degree assault and continued his commitment to the boot camp.

Waugh told McDowell the teen handed written apologies to Mummert and to him when court began.

"He also apologized to both of us here today," Waugh said.

McDowell said he was pleased with those apologies, both written and personal, calling it a good step.

"You have been in a lot of placements," McDowell said. "It seems you needed more structure."

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