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Teen sentenced in assaults

August 26, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

A judge painted a tough picture for a juvenile on Wednesday who, he said, acted like he thought he was a "tough dude" after assaulting his high school principal.

The 15-year-old boy's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman, told Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, that his client realized that pushing past the Smithsburg High School principal to get a bike lock was wrong.

Beachley told Musselman, "Your client apparently thinks he's a tough dude."

Beachley suggested that the youth take a trip to the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, a juvenile detention facility outside Baltimore, where juveniles might "take care of him."

"Do you think he'd be a tough dude down there?" he asked.

The boy shook his head "no" as Beachley asked him: "You like hanging out with robbers? With people who commit assaults with deadly weapons?"

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"I don't think you'd fare so well," Beachley said, looking at the boy. "You better clean up your act."

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said that on May 18 the principal confiscated several bicycles because their riders were interfering with school traffic. She said that when the principal locked up the bicycle the boy had been riding, the boy demanded "to get the bike lock back" and then "pushed by her."

"He wasn't getting something that he wanted and he got belligerent," Flores said.

She said that the vice principal tried to put the boy in a chair after the incident, but the boy knocked him down, saying boastfully, "That's what six years of karate did for me."

A Washington County Public Schools representative said that the youth was absent from school 54 times last year. She said that this year, the boy likely will attend Antietam Academy, an alternative school near South Hagerstown High School.

The representative said that during the last school year, the boy met 52 times with the school's administration about behavioral problems.

Beachley ordered that the boy serve 30 days of community detention as part of an indefinite supervised probation period.

Beachley suggested that the boy's father consider taking away his son's BMX bicycle racing privileges. The father told Beachley that he lets his son ride the bike because it's something "he excels at" and added that the boy's ranked 52nd in the nation.

"Big whoop," Beachley said, telling the boy's father that it's common at high schools and colleges to revoke extracurricular activities when a student's behavior is an issue.

Beachley told the youth that if he violates probation, "you will not pass go, will not collect $100, you'll go directly to jail."

Youth sentenced for misdemeanor theft


A 17-year-old boy who tried to walk out of a department store with a stolen shirt in April admitted in Washington County juvenile court Wednesday that he stole the shirt because a friend had done the same thing.

The boy admitted to misdemeanor theft and Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, ordered him placed on indefinite supervised probation.

The boy's mother said, "He was with bad company."

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said that a Hecht's salesperson saw the youth take a shirt from a display table, walk into the dressing room and leave with everything "but the shirt."

She said that the youth tried to walk past the cash register without paying, but was caught and the shirt was recovered.

After the boy told Beachley that he tried to steal the shirt because his friend "had done it," Beachley started to tell the youth, "When you hang out with people who do bad things..."

"I don't hang out with him anymore," the boy said.

A Washington County Public Schools representative said that the youth graduated from Williamsport High School in June with a 1.4 grade-point average.

Beachley ordered that the youth have no contact with the other juvenile.

A Department of Juvenile Services representative said the other juvenile has been placed in the system.

Youth sentenced for bus stop assault


A 17-year-old boy who admitted to repeatedly punching another youth at a Williamsport High School bus stop in May was ordered Wednesday to serve indefinite supervised probation.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, told the youth that "assaultive-type behavior is not only unlawful, but unacceptable in our society."

The boy harassed two youths about a stolen bicycle at a Halfway bus stop on the corner of Lexington and Lincoln avenues on May 28 at about 8:06 a.m., said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores.

The boy "was aggressive and began to hit the victim in the head" and continued "punching him until the bus arrived," Flores said.

A Washington County Public Schools representative said that the youth is a high school junior.

Flores said the boy has begun treatment for anger management.

"He does have a temper," his mother said. "He tends to ... whenever he gets angry, he just acts without thinking of the consequences."

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